Pest control in hydroponics

Pests are the major threat to any hydroponics system. However, there is a misconception that hydroponic gardens are free from pests. Just like soil-based gardens, hydroponics systems are also prone to pest infestation. Therefore, pest control in hydroponics becomes essential for any gardener. Failure to implement an effective pest control can result in weak or dead plants, which translates to losses to the gardener. However, the conditions in the hydroponic gardens allow pests to thrive and multiply. Fortunately, there is a wide array of ways to implement an effective pest control in hydroponics.

How to control pests in hydroponics

#1. Beneficial organisms

This is one of the most popular ways of controlling unwanted pests in hydroponics garden. Certain types of fungi and bacteria are known to push out pests in the hydroponics garden. They wipe out the pests by crowding or consuming them. Moreover, these bacteria and fungi release toxic compounds that create unfavorable conditions for the pests. The best thing about these beneficial organisms is that they eradicate pests without damaging the plants.

#2. Pesticidal soaps

Different types of pesticides can be used to control pests in hydroponics garden. For many years, pesticidal soaps have been used to provide non-toxic ways to restrain the pests. You can find a good pesticidal soap that is made from non-toxic compounds produced by plants. For instance, botanicals are easier to use and break down naturally when exposed to air and water. In fact, they are the best because they don’t leave harmful chemicals

#3. Neem oil

This is another effective pesticide that is known to eradicate over 400 types of pests that invade our gardens. Spraying the neem oil on the foliage of the plants will eliminate the existing pests while preventing future infestation. Neem oil alters the reproductive cycle of the pests, drastically reducing their population.

#4. Pyrethrum

This is a safe and effective means of controlling the pests in your hydroponics garden. The flowers of the pyrethrum contain pyrethrins that are used in many commercial insecticides. Even a small dosage of pyrethrum can totally eliminate pests in your hydroponics system. However, you should read the label to ensure maximum safety while using this pesticide.

#5. Azatrol

This is another effective pesticide for pests in the hydroponics garden. This broad spectrum insecticide can wipe out most of the pests that invade your garden. Moreover, Azatrol is very safe and pose no threat to the environment.

#6. Diatomaceous earth

This is another effective natural pest control method in hydroponics. Use a feather duster to apply the Diatomaceous earth dust on the leaves of your plants. However, you should avoid breathing this dust. Diatomaceous is safe right from planting to the day of harvest. Pests that bite your plants will die when they come in contact with Diatomaceous earth.

#7. Pruning

The heavily infested sections of the plants are removed to reduce the pests in your plants. This is effective when used in combination with other pest control methods. Removing the damaged part of your garden is important.

Conclusion

Pests can lead to devastation in hydroponics garden. Therefore, it is important to implement an appropriate pest control in hydroponics before you start counting losses. In this case, these pest control methods not only effective but are also safe to both plants and people.

How to prevent mold in Hydroponic system

Mold is the worst enemy is hydroponic systems. If no measures are taken, mold can drastically interfere with the growth and yield of your plants. In most cases, many growers don’t know how to prevent mold in hydroponic system. But how can you stop mold from rearing its ugly head in your hydroponic gardens? These tips will go a long way in ensuring a mold-free hydroponic system.

#1. Properly seal your grow room

Properly sealed grow room will prevent microorganism from getting into your system. This can be more expensive, but will block mold from attacking your plants.

#2. Use certified clones

Buying clones from a reputable source is the best way to prevent mold in your hydroponic systems. Usually, the commercial clones are thoroughly inspected for potential mold. Moreover, such clones are less likely to have big flowers- a favorite spot for mold.

#3. Adjust the humidity

Mold thrives and multiplies very fast in high humidity. In this case, the humidity of your hydroponic grow room should lie between 43 to 52 percent. This will create unfavorable conditions for mold to grow. You can adjust the humidity using a dehumidifier or an air conditioner.

#4. Avoid too much watering

Over-watering the plants during bloom phase can cause much transpiration, which creates favorable conditions for the mold to thrive.

#5. Don’t supply too much nitrogen to the plants 

As suggested by some studies, applying too much nitrogen to the plants during the bloom phase can lead to mold development. In this case, you should be careful when supplying nutrients to your hydroponic plants.

#6. Observe the hygiene

Molds are very contagious and can quickly spread through clothing. Therefore, it is important to wear special clothing before entering your grow room. Moreover, visitors in your grow room may lead to the spread of mold to your hydroponic systems. You should provide your visitors with clean overalls and gumboots before entering your grow room.

#7. Remove the affected parts

Take action immediately you spot any signs of mold in your hydroponic grow room. Cut the entire branches and leaves of the affected plants and put them in plastic bags and dispose of them immediately. However, it is important to sterilize all the equipment that touches the affected plants. Observe the plants for several days to see if the mold would return. The most important thing is to prevent the affected plants from coming in contact with the healthy ones.

#8. Introduce beneficial life forms into the hydroponic system

Beneficial life forms can eradicate unwanted microorganisms on your hydroponic system. In this case, you should introduce beneficial fungi into your system. These fungi will consume microorganisms that can potentially cause mold in your grow room.

Conclusion

Mold can cause devastation within very short and leave growers counting the losses. Therefore, it is better to prevent the mold in your hydroponic system before it enters into the grow room. Fortunately, these preventative measures are easier to implement, and you don’t need to dig deep into your pocket. If your grow room is properly sealed, the chances of mold getting into your plants are almost zero. Having known and implemented these preventative measures, you will be sure of the abundant harvest.