Controlled environments for optimal root health

Many growers start with soil but quickly move on to other methods that promise adventure and the lure of even greater rewards. Hydroponics offers accelerated root growth, bigger, faster, and stronger is a typical description from a hydro enthusiast who swears they will never go back to growing in soil. On the other hand, hydro is typically known to be less forgiving than soil.

The leading threat to growing with hydroponics is root rot, which will stagnate growth and eventually kill plants or entire crops. A couple of simple precautions will prevent would-be disasters in the modern indoor garden.

Control the environment 
In summer, watch out for root rot, which can easily occur when water temperatures rise above 18 degrees. When roots rot they begin to tint until they eventually brown and die off. Pathogens and bad biology are the cause, and they tend to thrive in warmer waters.

Typically, water temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than room temperatures, so gauge the health of your hydro system by measuring your room temperature. Start with controlled grow room heating and cooling. If average temperatures are above 23 degrees, additional cooling may be needed. You could also consider adding a water chiller to the reservoir if necessary. To properly thrive using any grow method, environmental control is key.

Pathogens can multiply in water and grow mediums when room temperatures constantly exceed 23 degrees. It is best to keep garden temperatures between 17- 28 degrees, if possible 20-24 degrees. This will keep water temperatures in the correct range for roots and plants to grow vigorously while keeping away the bad biology that causes root rot.

With hydroponic practices, gardeners see a noticeable difference in growth rate and overall results when environmental factors are well maintained. Ideally, your grow room should not be affected by what season it is outside. In addition to maintaining a comfortable environment, be sure to keep a generally clean room, free of any constant moisture, hot spots, or other undesired microclimates.

For more information:
Ralph Becker, CEO
Urban Greens 


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