Friday, March 7, 2014

Root Rot in Hydroponics.


Fusarium root rot on peas.  Photo Source: Lyndon Porter

"Root rot" is a common waterborne disease that can seriously affect indoor and outdoor crops year round. "Pythium" is a generic term for several different root rot and stem rot fungus species (including Pythium, Verticillium, and Phytophthora, and Fusarium). Root rot is also known as "damping-off" in seeds, seedlings and clones.

Root Rot in hydroponics can be a very annoying and persistent condition that inhibits productivity. Luckily there are methods for preventing and treating root rot.

1. Keep the reservoir clean by sterilizing with H2O2 on a regular basis. Keeping your water temps below 70 degrees Fahrenheit will also inhibit root rot. Always make sure plenty of oxygen is being dissolved in your reservoir with an air-stone or some other agitation of the surface water. These practices will help prevent root rot causing fungi from ever establishing themselves in the first place.



2. Neem Oil: I have been aware of the extreme gardening benefits of neem oil for sometime now, even before it was available in the US. It is now marketed in the US as a leaf shine, but it is so much more. I use it as a fungicide in my hydroponics cultures and as an insecticide. It works in a symbiotic way with plants ,as plants end up integrating it within their natural resistance to predators and diseases. Neem oil kills fungi on contact and it sterilizes insect pests that come in contact with the oil or feed from plants that have absorbed the oil, rendering them unable to reproduce.



3. SM90: Uses natural coriander oil which is a fungicide to prevent and eliminate root rot.

SM-90

SM-90




Sources:

Neem Oil Wikipedia
Coriander Oil_Mountain Rose Herbs
Fusarium on Wikipedia
Homegrown Hydroponics