Hydroponics - Preventive Measures
Unfortunately, even in a controlled environment there can
still be a problem with deficiencies. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome
these deficiencies with the proper use of certain products. Below are a few
things you can do to help prevent deficiencies. For more tips and ideas, please
contact us and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be able to help you.
One of the best ways to prevent problems before they happen
is to talk to knowledgeable people that understand hydroponics. We can explain
all of the do's and don'ts before you start, thus giving your plants a better
chance to succeed and prevent any unnecessary problems.
~ Monitor pH Levels - There are lots of things that can
cause a hydroponic nutrient solution to drift outside of the ideal range of
about 5.5 - 6.5. Usually, if a nutrient solution is left unmonitored for too
long, it can start drifting outside of this range because of bacterial
populations. Aerated water at good temperatures (71 degrees or below) will
increase in aerobic bacteria, and pH goes up. Even though the pH needs to be
adjusted, aerobic bacteria are good for plants. If water temperatures get too
warm, anaerobic bacteria will cause pH to drop. Anaerobic bacteria are the
microbes that cause root rot.
Since pH levels can change very rapidly, it is important to
check your pH level daily. The longer your nutrient solution spends outside of
this ideal range, the greater the chance that your plants will
suffer a deficiency. Use pH adjustment products designed specifically for hydroponics to make the necessary adjustments.
~ Keep Temperature Levels Stables - Your nutrient solution
should be fairly cool, somewhere in the range of 66 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. You should be particularly aware of this if you
happen to live in an unusually warm or cold part of the world. If you feel it
is necessary to prevent plant deficiency, take extra steps to insulate your
grow room against outside elements. You should also try placing your reservoir
directly on the floor, as the floor can be very cool, which can keep the
reservoir cool in a warm grow room.
~ Use Supplements - The most common deficiencies can be
cured by adding a Calcium Magnesium supplement and an organic micronutrient
supplement such as seaweed extract. There are several additional products that
can increase the availability of nutrients for your plants. Beneficial Bacteria
are extremely important to keep roots healthy and clean. Beneficial Fungus will
increase root growth. Enzymes clear out any dead root cells. All three of those
biological additives can assist in breaking down nutrients for easier uptake by
the roots and ensure a large, healthy root zone. Large roots have an easier
time absorbing nutrients.