Root rot treatment is seen as a huge challenge by many novice gardeners. It might lead all your efforts to vain by damaging your crops in long run. So, how to fix root rot in hydroponics?
You can fix root rot in hydroponics by doing these simple steps which include shutting the system, conditioning the roots, balancing the nutrient solution, and resetting the whole system.
So let’s see all the steps in detail so that you can save your crops from root rot in hydroponics.
How To Fix Root Rot In Hydroponics?
The best initiative to say your plans from root rot is primitive action. Taking action beforehand increases the survival chances of your plant. Here are a few steps gardeners take to save their plants from root rot.
Step 1. Shut Down The System
Whether it be in traditional farming or hydroponics the infected plant individual must be isolated. All hydroponic systems have a more complex mechanism than traditional organic farming. Therefore, the best way to isolate the infected plant is to shut down the system.
Infections during the mid vegetative stage are more active. Therefore, isolating the plant from your respected hydroponic system becomes necessary. This is also important to ensure the restriction of further microbial growth.
Some microbes have the potential to infect other roots by the nutrient medium. But such cases are rare and happens only when your nutrient medium loses concentration. Adding any disinfectant also will be a futile idea to apply.
Evacuate your plant from your hydroponic system, and place them in isolated net pods. Doing such will be easier to identify the healthy plant from the infected ones. Don’t delay in the evacuation, as it might increase the chances of microbial propagation.
Make sure that the roots of all plants are spread widely apart. Don’t try to congest it in a definite space. Lack of space will let the plants suffocate and die eventually. Prepare a separate nutrient solution for each plant.
Step 2. Condition The Roots
So, how to fix root rot for hydroponics? Well, the second step to give the roots proper conditioning. Doing such will separate the taproot from infected fibrous roots. However, if the plant has fibrous roots with no tap root, cut the infected portions.
Things get more complicated if the main body of the vegetables is root. For instance, if carrot is your vegetable of choice, you’ll have a hard time fixing it. In such cases, it is advisable to spray a water gun on the fibrous roots. However, you can also use an atomizer for that purpose.
To fix root rot in hydroponics, your root system must get rid of debris too. You may wonder about the presence of debris in Hydroponics. But, many hydroponic gardeners prefer the germination stage in the soil.
Such a process of germination increases the chances of microbial infection on the roots. If the infected roots are distinguishable, you can chop them off. The task remains easy when the infected roots are small, and attached to the main root.
For discarding the rotten roots, you can use a sterile blade or a clean pair of scissors. It is important to make sure that the tool isn’t rusty. A rusty blade will bring more damage to your plant.
Then, it will be difficult for the plant to recover itself from the infection. Chop the infected root transversely by the blade, or pair of scissors. After removal, shoot another layer of water on the roots and place it on the nutrient medium.
Step 3. Manage The Nutrient Solution
As mentioned above, the nutrient solution can be a transporting medium for pathogens. The pathogens reproduce at a rapid rate and discharge the newborn to the nutrient solution. Green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach are more receptive to the nutrient solution.
To know how to fix root rot in hydroponics, you must be aware of the nutrient solution. Pathogens are more resistant to less active or less concentrated nutrients solutions. Therefore, preserving less concentrated nutrient solutions promotes more microbial growth.
Most veteran Hydroponic farmers drain the nutrient solution from the reservoir. After a proper inspection, they separate the infected plants from the healthy ones. Then, they act according to their scale of the Hydroponic system.
After draining the nutrient solution, the reservoir is sterilized and treated with disinfectants. In root rot hydroponics hydrogen peroxide is effective in killing the microbes. If your hydroponic system has a complex network like the Ebb and Flow, make it a single plant system.
Use a small reservoir for your isolated plants, and keep them in sunlight. Doing such will help you in the identification of healthy plants. There might be some plants that show infection after quite some time.
Also, there are cases where plants show no rotting but are carriers for the microbes. Properly managing the nutrient system is how to fix root rot in hydroponics.
Step 4. Reset Your System
Resetting the system is as important as shutting down. However, any hydroponic system is more dynamic than traditional farming and needs to restart. If you are using drip system hydroponics, reset your timer, and make it more frequent than before.
To fix root rot in hydroponics, get your system working as soon as possible after sterilizing the reservoirs. Another important measure taken by veteran gardeners is hydroguard root rot. Hydroguard is a beneficial bacteria that aids the plant in recovering from infections. It is an important ingredient in how to fix root rot in hydroponics.
Before adding hydroguard root rot to your hydroponics system, make the nutrient solution is mixed in the right proportions. According to your selected crop, add nitrogen, and phosphorous content. It is also important to regulate the pH level at regular intervals.
Hydroguard is the most commonly used friendly bacteria for Hydroponics. However, you can opt for another alternative like Great White. Both these samples work best at optimum room temperature and environment.
In high humid growing conditions, these good bacteria prove to be more effective. Hydroguard root rot bacteria is effective in the prevention and also in curing infected roots. Therefore, it is advisable to regulate the humidity in the growing environment.
Many gardeners add more heat to their growing environment by lighting UV and halogen lights. Temperatures ranging from 28°C to 35°C are more supportive of good bacteria. Heat allows it to replicate and reproduce even faster.
Identifying The Symptoms
To begin your root rot treatment, it is important to be familiar with the identification process. In general Hydroponics root rot, the identification is quite easy. You can easily detect root health by inspecting the color and texture.
In green vegetables, the root color remains white during its vegetative stage. This color is seen in other non-green vegetables like Tomato and pepper. In general Hydroponics, root rot is a consequence of active microbial infection.
At the microscopic level, the cell wall is breached by external agents like fungi and bacteria. In some cases, root rot can be caused by macro pathogens. Examples of macro pathogens include Rhododoccus and protozoa.
The infected or damaged root will start developing a yellowish or brownish color. In some cases, you might see a color combination of both. Identification is easy, where the color is similar to a person suffering from jaundice.
Another way to identify an infected root is by its texture. A healthy root remains hydrated and nutritious. Therefore, such healthy roots are thick due to high water content.
Unlike such roots, an infected root lacks moisture content. This is due to the heavy nutrition consumption by active pathogens. So, the healthier the root, the more microbial activity gets promoted.
As the toxic reaction progresses, more nutrients get consumed in the process. Therefore, due to a lack of nutrients, the roots become slim. There comes a time when there isn’t any moisture left.
Then, the fibrous roots become entangled with each other. As the infection stays, you can get a foul odor from the smell. Judging the root state in onion by odor might be confusing. This is because onions are olfactory, and has an odor when healthy.
Root rot in Coco and Kratky root rot can be easily identified by the infected texture. However, the Kratky root rot color helps a lot in identification. However, root rot in Coco and many other plants happen in stages.
Situations are rare when you’ll notice an instant change in texture and color. The consequences of infection are not just limited to roots. Other symptoms observed in root rot are the shrinking of leaves and fruits.
Roots are the foundations of a plant’s circulatory system. An unhealthy root cannot convey the required nutrients to other parts of the plant. Therefore, you can notice a shrinking of leaves and fruits. At the microscopic level, you can detect infection by inspecting the stomatal aperture.
How To Prevent It?
Prevention had always been better than cure. To produce optimum yield it is important to take necessary precautions. So, here are a few to prevent root rot in hydroponics.
1. Regulating The Temperature
All good and harmful bacteria have increased metabolism at high temperatures. Therefore, it is important to keep your growing environment cool. For vegetables such as lettuce and garlic, you can maintain a cool temperature throughout the night.
Commercial greenhouses are always kept under the right temperature to prevent microbial growth. To be more specific, the growing temperature must be under 75°F. For plants such as pepper and green chilies, the temperature mustn’t exceed 80°F.
Gardeners install polarisers on the windows to restrict the overheating of the growing temperature. Polarizers of different intensity reductions only allow only the required sunlight to pass. It is also found that cold areas have more oxygen retention capabilities.
Keeping your Hydroponic system in a hot place will encourage more anaerobic metabolism. In anaerobic metabolism, the oxygen content is lowered by the microbes giving rise to alcohol. They produced alcohol then further degrades the small tissues and cells. If you can afford a chiller unit, controlling the infection growth won’t be a tough issue.
2. Cleaning The Hydroponic System
To find a root rot cure for DWC, you must keep your system clean. Hydroponic systems aren’t only designed to produce good quality yield. There is a maintenance process that needs to be followed by everyone. Check out our post on effectively cleaning the hydroponics system.
Before setting your system, select a hygienic place as your growing environment. Many novice gardeners choose messed-up backyards and garages. Before choosing such locations, clean the environment well, and spray disinfectants.
Don’t let dead leaves or debris accumulate in or near your Hydroponic system. Excess accumulation of dead leaves will build a bacterial community. For root rot hydroponics hydrogen peroxide is a temporary solution. Therefore, keep some quantities in stock beforehand.
3. Preventing The Entry Of Light
Light is a form of energy that supports all life ranging from humans to microorganisms. Have to ever wondered why root grows been beneath the soil. Well, think of it as its hatred towards the light.
Yes, roots hate the light and are called photophobic. If you isolate the plants after infection, it is advisable not to expose the root to light. Doing such means supporting bacterial growth which can worsen the situation.
Don’t use the UV grow light excessively at night. Doing such will provide the pathogens everything they need to survive. In DWC, the reservoirs must be black which can absorb all light. However, you can make the system capable of fending light by using black tubing.
Using black tubing restricts light leaks that regulate the entry of light. You can also use reflective coverings to regulate heat. Such coverings ensure the necessary amount of heat present in the interior region.
It is also advisable to select a reservoir with a thick wall. Those reservoirs having thin walls can’t absorb a high light spectrum. During germination, cover the top of your net pod with a dark cloth.
Areas such as Pythium root rot treatment hydroponics need expert advice. There are two stages on how to get rid of root rot hydroponics. These are prevention and cure. Obeying the instructions will surely help your plant in its recovery. You’ll need the patience to get rid of root rot hydroponics.