SESSION 4: Plant Diseases
One of the big benefits of hydroponics is the rarity of plant diseases. That's not to say that plant disease can't and won't happen. Under certain conditions, diseases can move in and take over a hydroponic garden.
Plant disease can happen when you least expect it. The best way to prevent disease is to keep your grow room clean and your equipment (i.e. tools, tubing and containers) clean with isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol will destroy any bacteria, viruses or fungus. Collect all trimmings and leaves that have fallen off. They are highly susceptible to disease.
Replace growing medium after each use.
Open wounds on plants caused by scraping are susceptible to disease. Each time a plant is cut clean with a pruning cleanup substance to keep illness out.
Ensure your garden stays soil free by thoroughly rinsing any soil off the roots of a plant to be transplanted into your garden. A good idea would be to use an organic fungicide on the roots as well to further reduce the chance of infection. Quarantine new plants and seedlings before fully integrating them into your garden. Quarantining will allow for further checks for disease without risking your established plants.
Keep the bugs out. They will not only eat your plants but some bugs carry diseases that are deadly to plants. Take care of any problems quickly.
Plants need plenty of moving air. This helps control humidity, and in turn helps lower the risk of infection.
Non-Parasitic diseases are caused by non-living agents. They are most common in the soil and crop debris.
Major categories of infectious plant diseases
Fungi: They are parasitic.
Bacteria: They enter the plant through wounds (see open wounds above)
Viruses: The cell walls of plants provide a natural barrier
Water Molds: Small organisms that resemble fungi but are distinctly different
Nematodes: Soil based round worms
For a wide variety of plant disease treatments available, visit our Pest and Disease Control section.
to Session 5: Harmful Pests and Beneficial Insects