How to avoid 7 hydroponic pests and diseases

One of the benefits of growing herbs and vegetables in a hydroponic system is that you reduce the possibility of pests and diseases. Even still, there are a number of hydroponic pests and diseases that can wreak havoc on your veggies. Below are some common hydroponic pests and diseases and ways to prevent them from taking over your hydroponic system.

1. Aphids
Aphids can become hydroponic pests without you realizing it. At first, you may not notice them because they are so tiny. Full-grown aphids are about 1/8 of an inch big.

Signs to watch for a colony of aphids will likely appear on new-growth stems and leaves. You may first notice discolored or wilting leaves. You may also notice ants that are attracted to the sugary residue left by the aphids.

Treatment: If you find your veggies are infested with aphids, you can try to spray plants with neem oil or a soapy spray. A more Darwinian approach would be to introduce some ladybugs into your hydroponic environment since they are a natural predator of aphids. This is probably only a good option if your hydroponic garden is self-contained; otherwise you may end up with a ladybug infestation!

Prevention: The best way to prevent aphids from becoming hydroponic pests is to not introduce them into your environment in the first place. Take caution when planting seedlings or transplanting plants that have been outdoors. Inspect your plants carefully before introducing them into your hydroponic garden.

Read the rest at Food Gardening Network

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