PREVENTIVE PEST CONTROL


It is much easier to practice preventive pest control in your garden than battling pests and plagues later.

Healthy hydroponic plants







A traditional outdoor garden, although it is openly exposed to outdoor pests and plagues, also gets a little help from mother nature. Wind and rain help to clean the crops of insects and mold. Natural predators (the good guys) have easy access to feast on the bad pests and their larvae (babies).

Now then, a hydroponic garden is somewhat isolated from the vast array of insect pests out there. But, it does have one disadvantage...

Hydro gardens pack many plants into a small area, making the spread of insects and disease rapid and sometimes overwhelming.

Prevention is the answer! It is much easier to prevent insect invasions and disease in your hydroponic garden than to get rid of them.


So how do you practice good preventive measures in your new hydro grow-room?

First and foremost, cleanliness is the easiest and best means to maintaining a healthy garden. It might help if you think of your hydro project as a "scientific experiment", and resolve to keep it "laboratory clean". Most commercial hydroponics greenhouses follow very strict measures, down to special protective clothing and shoe treatment mats.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR "LAB" CLEAN


Preventive pest control...

Hints for keeping a clean and healthy hydro system:

  • Wash your hands before you go in to your garden and even between crops, especially if one species appears sickly or diseased.
     
  • Remove all dead leaves and plant debris. Clean up scattered plant media and spilled nutrients. Pests and diseases thrive on decaying plant matter.
     
  • Remove any dead or dying plants from the system and dispose of outside.
     
  • Keep a separate set of hand tools specifically for your garden (trowel, pruners). Keep these tools in the grow room and do not use them on houseplants or outside plants. Pests and disease ride from plant to plant on dirty tools.
     
  • Disinfect tools by dipping often in isopropyl alcohol or 10% bleach/water solution.


YES, cleanliness is that important!

Keep it clean as a laboratory

GROWING HEALTHY HYDRO


Preventive pest control...

Now for some other measures you can take to help keep a healthy garden. Proper growing conditions produce strong, vigorous plants, much more resistant to pest and plague invasions.

  • Keep the humidity at the low end--- 50-60% if possible. And keep it cool, 75° is best.
  • Proper ventilation and air movement prevent mold and funguses.
  • Do not "over-water". Soggy media promotes mold, mildew and algae formation.
  • Never come in to your indoor grow room after working with outdoor crops or compost pile. Do it in reverse, outside gardening last.
  • Don't visit your garden fresh after a trip to a plant nursery.
  • Don't bring houseplants or soil-planted specimens into the room to "share the gro lights".
  • Do not allow smoking in the grow room. Smokers MUST wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching hydro plants. Even this precaution might not prevent the spread of deadly tobacco mosaic virus to your prized heirloom tomatoes.

  • Consider using disease resistant strains of plants. Read more about hybrid seeds and disease resistance.


BETWEEN PLANTINGS


Preventive pest control...

BETWEEN PLANTINGS--- SCOUR AND STERILIZE!

After your crops are spent for the season, it's time for some serious housekeeping. Take the old plants outside and dispose of them or compost. Treat trees and shrubs to any leftover nutrient solution.

Now get your entire hydro system clean as a whistle and disinfected. Spend a Saturday afternoon on it, do a good job. Break it all down, take it outside and scrub with mild dish soap and a brush (no steel wool pads). Rinse well, then flush the entire system in 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Let stand for 1/2 hour, then flush very well with clean clear water.

You may even wipe down the walls and floor of the grow room with the bleach disinfectant, if appropriate.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Simon)

K.I.S.S. Those bugs goodbye!

The very best way to stay on top of your hydroponic garden and prevent heartbreaking invasions is... vigilance!

You love plants, or you wouldn't be so interested in this fascinating gardening method... right? So spend some time with your babies! The technology allows you to set it... and forget it... but mother nature has other ideas.

Get yourself a 10x magnifying glass and comfy chair. Put on your favorite music and create a serene little oasis. Find your own daily "stress reduction" routine. And check out your hydro system thoroughly.

  • How do the plants look? Green and healthy? New buds and fruit setting?
  • Any bugs? Check the undersides of leaves and top of the plant media.
  • Squish them 'ole bugs (not recommended for caterpillars)
  • Peek in the reservoir- ample solution? Check that ph!
  • Equipment running properly? Observe a flood or feed cycle and make sure all are getting their fair share of food.

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Watch the new Video of
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