HYDROPONICS RESOURCE – TROUBLESHOOTING

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HYDROPONICS RESOURCE:
Troubleshooting Tool

Yuck! Aphids all over my plants!

Having problems with your hydroponics garden?

Try our nifty, user-friendly hydroponics resource: a troubleshooting guide to help quickly
diagnose and treat whatever ails it.

Why is our guide so easy to use? Just look up your problem by the “main
symptom”, and you’re on your way to the solution!

First we review the “Big Picture” for possible obvious problems, the we take you to the Troubleshooting Tool.

Get started below the Google Ad 😉



      FIRST CHECK
THE "BIG PICTURE"

FIRST CHECK THE "BIG PICTURE"

Our hydroponics resource for troubleshooting

First, before digging into the topics
below, we suggest you take a quick look at the "big picture" of your hydro
system. Unless you have an obvious insect or disease infestation going on... your
problems most likely have been caused by poor growing conditions. Run through
these obvious solutions first:


Climate

  • Is the temperature between 60-90°? Is there a 10° drop when the lights go
    out for the night?
  • Is the RH (relative humidity) between 50-70%? (50-60% is best)
  • Ventilation: Do you have adequate air exchange, or is it stagnant and stale in
    there? Is the stale air being vented out somehow?
    Do you have a fan gently stirring the leaves 24/7?

Lighting


The nutrient system

  • Check the reservoir. What temp is the grow juice?
    Should be below 85°; under 80° is optimal. 
    Check the ph and
    concentration
    .
  • Is there enough solution, or is the pump sucking air during cycles?
  • If you suspect any feeding/watering problems, drain the reservoir and start a
    new
    batch of nutrient solution.

Keep in mind that plant problems are seldom straightforward, and it’s too often
the case that opposites (like under- and over-watering or feeding) can produce
similar symptoms. We all have to put on our Sherlock Holmes hat when it come to
diagnosing our plants!

TROUBLESHOOTING
GUIDE

Okay, you've run through all the essentials and found no quick fixes? Try Our hydroponics resource for troubleshooting

 Find your
problem below:



I. Critters
II. Icky coatings
III. Leaves
IV. Blossoms/fruit problems
V. Poor seedlings
VI. Overall growth problems

I.  CRITTERS
Have you found any insects in your garden (crawling, flying)? Identify and treat
them by visiting our 
Pests Page.

II.  ICKY COATINGS
If your plants or medium have a slimy or fuzzy green, white, black or grey
coating, you probably have a fungus or mold problem. Read on:


III.  IT'S IN THE LEAVES

Our hydroponics resource for troubleshooting

  • Wilted leaves: over or under watering; too dry or too hot [try watering with
    clear water].
    Wilt Disease: curled up, dried out and dead leaves 

    (see Common Plant Diseases)

     
  • Curled up leaves:
    thrips ;
    aphids

      
Sad droopy leaves

  • Droopy Leaves:  

    Temp too high [cool it down]; not enough fluids [check that system is delivering enough
    solution];
    Nutrient solution too strong [flush plants with clear water only for a week,
    then restart with a new batch of nutrient solution] 

  • Spots: White or silvery spots: 
    thrips
    or powdery mildew;
    Tiny yellow speckles: 
    spider mites

      
Yellowing  leaves

  • Yellow leaves:

    Nutrient imbalance (check that ph not too alkaline); overwatering; Any 

    whiteflies
    around?

  • Note: yellow leaves are normal when the crop reaches end of life. Time to uproot
    and start over.
     
  • Leaf Drop: Sudden temperature change/shock (like when setting out new
    seedlings); cold wind/dry air; overwatering.
    Could also be 
    mealybugs or

    whiteflies
    .
      
Tip burn on cabbage

  • Tip burn:

    Tips of leaves are brown:
    Nutrient too strong [flush with clean water and mix a new batch]. Hot dry air can also burn.

  • Burn patches on leaves: Too close to the lights (light burn)
     
  • Leaves distorted or crinkly: 
    Viruses;
    aphids


IV.  BLOSSOMS AND FRUIT

  • No blossoms: temperature too low
  • Blossoms drop: climate problems (too hot; improper light; too humid or too dry;
    overwatering; Make sure there is a 10° temp drop at night when the lights go out. 
    Blossoms not getting pollinated.
  • Fruit drop: (Fruit yellows and dries up while still small): Poor nutrition
    [check nutrient solution]; light too low or wrong kind of 

    lighting
    .

   
TOMATO WOES

          

Our hydroponics resource for troubleshooting

Catfacing on  tomatoes

  • Misshapened/deformed fruits

    (Also called "Catfacing"): Overall temp too low; insufficient
    day-night temp drop; poor pollination; light too low;
    humidity too high. 

Blossom end rot

  • Blossom end rot/ or black spots on fruit:

    If on
    both
    small and large fruits= calcium deficiency [mix new batch of nutrient].
    If on only the large fruits: too dry [increase irrigation].

  • There is no cure for blossom end rot, only prevention
      
Tomatoes cracking

  • Tomatoes crack:

    Not enough or too much water; temp too
    high


V.  SEEDLINGS

Spindly seedlings
  • Spindly Growth:

    Seedlings grow very tall and spindly: Not enough light. You would
    think it would be the opposite, but it's not. When the light is too dim or too
    far from the seedlings, they strain towards the light, making them almost
    unusable for transplanting. Give your seedlings strong and close lighting if you
    want
    stocky, sturdy baby plants.

GENERAL GROWTH PROBLEMS

Our hydroponics resource for troubleshooting

Bolting:

Bolted broccoli

Bolted broccoli


  • Bolting of lettuce, broccoli, radishes: (they bolt to flowers and seeds). Bolting of
    winter crops is caused by too warm of temperatures (they figure it's spring,
    and time to make flowers!) Make sure these plants get plenty of light in their
    early growth stages, and then keep them cool closer to harvest.
     
  • Stunted or slow growth: Too cold; underfeeding; overwatering
     
  • Spindly, skinny plants: Insufficient light
     
  • Rotting stems/leaves: Excessive humidity or overwatering; disease/fungus

     

                       LIMP LETTUCE
Home grown lettuce is often too limp to go right from harvest to
salad bowl. How to crisp it up? Wash in cold water, shake gently and refrigerate
in a plastic bag for an hour before dinner.

Crisp lettuce ready for the salad bowl

STILL HAVING PROBLEMS?
ASK FOR HELP AT 
THE HYDRO
FORUMS


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