Saturday, 12 January 2013

3 Common Problems In Hydroponic Gardening

3 Common Problems In Hydroponic Gardening

By Chiqui Pangan

Today, more and more people are discovering the many benefits of growing their garden hydroponically. However, there are a number of problems that some growers face when dealing with the typically trouble free hydroponic gardens.

1. Algae

Algae are often green but can also be brown, black or reddish. They cling to gullies, channels or pumps or thrive over the damp media. They have a 'moldy' smell especially when too many of them are decomposing in the nutrient. They can block drippers, pumps, emitters and return channels. Severe algae infestation may seal off the surface of any growing media or substrate.

Apart from the unsightly appearance and foul odor, algae use up the nutrients that are supposed to be for the plants. Furthermore, when they bloom, die and decompose, they take out the dissolved oxygen content from the hydroponic system. This may cause the plants' roots to suffocate from the lack of oxygen. When they decompose, they also release toxins that allow plant pathogenic fungi to grow and multiply.

Algae growth is a natural result of exposing a nutrient solution to a light source. When you take out the light, the algae can not grow. Thus, to prevent algae infestation in your indoor hydroponic garden, light must be stopped from getting into the nutrient solution. Growers use light-proof materials to cover channels and gullies.

Media beds can also be protected with plastic film or a substrate layer designed to work as dry mulch. If the algae growth is thick, it is best to clean up the entire growing system after removing the crop.

2. Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats weaken the root system of plants. Their females often lay small eggs on a moist media. The resulting larvae cause damage to the root system of plants. They feed on plant tissues and attack small cuttings or seedlings.

To prevent gnats from damaging plants, most growers put screens in their doors and vents. This reduces moisture level on the media and presence of organic debris. The surface of the media or substrate must be dried out between irrigation's. It is also important to make sure that all pruning, dead leaves and other organic matters that have fallen into the system are regularly removed. When you purchase any growing media, check it for any gnat larvae growth. Keep it in a sealed in the plastic contained until use.

3. Bacteria and Mold

Bacteria are the common cause of mold outbreaks in indoor gardens. It is difficult to completely eliminate bacteria build-up. Thus, it is important to control the growing environment. Mold grows when there is high humidity. A dehumidifier must be used for all grow areas. If there is a mold outbreak, remove all the plants with mold and turn them into compost.

If you want to know more about hydroponic gardening and the best nutrients for flowering, visit the CX Hydroponic website through the following links:

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