What You Need To Know About Plant Disease

Plant diseases or blights in a hydroponics garden are much less frequent than in a dirt garden because there is no dirt to grow bacteria. Not to mention the fact that many plant diseases travel to the plant from the surrounding soil.  Plant disease cannot occur without a host plant, a pathogen, and favorable environmental conditions.

 

Plants can be more susceptible to disease if weakened by environmental conditions such as too much shade, high humidity and crowded conditions. They are also more susceptible when weakened by nutrient deficiency or toxicity (too many nutrients) and poor pH.

 

There will always be some trouble with disease, just watch for it and take care of it immediately. Unfortunately, many disease cures involve the use of harsh chemicals which you really do not want on your plants. A hydroponics garden can easily collect such chemicals in the nutrient solution with indiscriminant use and get into the plant cells - not something you want.  

 

What To Do About Plant Disease

 

Try some less harsh solutions first. Our favorite all-purpose cure is to mix water, baking soda, lemon juice and a very little bit dish detergent. Put this in a spray bottle and mist the affected parts of the plant. If you mix and use this recipe, make sure you cover all open areas to your nutrient solution or the dish detergent will get into it, causing soap bubbles.  

 

 

 

    Garden Management

     

    As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens (i.e. spindly or dead plants). Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.

    However, managing the hydroponic garden is even trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water ('true' hydroponics) or continually sprayed (aeroponics) or reside in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as with soil-based gardens, there is an large array of available methods to manage the problem.   

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