Save your Hydroponics Root Zone from Gnats
by Jennifer Dsouza
Though hydroponics is a growing area of farming and gardening, it is not without problems. As a hydroponic gardener you have to be careful about pests that can attack your plants. Pests like thrips, spidermites and whiteflies can severely affect your plants’ growth. However the biggest worry for the hydroponics growers these days is an upstart pest called fungus gnats.
Gnats feed on plant root. It affects the growth rate of plants. Plants mature slowly, the leaves start yellowing, curling and overall vigor is lost. Fungus gnats lay eggs and the larvae feed on hydroponic plants’ roots. The more they feed, faster they grow in to adults and lay more eggs. This leads to colonization of fungi on your roots. Gnat is fetal to a plant because it is vector for the root zone diseases including the notorious Pythium root rot. Not just in its living form, but as dead fungi too the gnat is harmful for your plants. It leaves behind carcasses that turn into sludge in the root area.
So now the question is, how can you prevent growth of fungus gnat on your plants’ roots while practicing hydroponics? There are some easy ways to achieve the feat. Firstly take all precautionary measures. Build a wall between the outside and the inside of your garden. Also sterilize all the tools and appliances in your garden. This will prevent entry of vectors. Try and keep pets out of your garden as they can be source of infesting diseases. It is well-known that fungi loves hydrophilic, moist atmosphere. So do not over water your plants. You can also use sticky stripes to catch adult gnat fungi.
One more effective method is to add hydroponic enzymes to the root zone of your plants. This will destroy the organic matter. Since gnat fungi feeds on organic matter, this will cut off their food supply and curb their growth. Keep the surrounding of plants, the root zones clean. Keep drying the surroundings. Some suggest using hydroponic peroxide to get rid of gnat. You can find it in any hydroponic store. But it may also kill useful microbes which are required for healthier growth of hydroponic plants.
Try to avoid using chemical fungicides to kill the gnat fungi as the chemical residues left on your plants are harmful for the plants as well as they may be contained in vegetables and fruits and cause health issues when consumed. You can get organic pesticides in any hydroponic store.
Just a few precautionary measures will help you keep gnat fungus out of your garden and you can have flourishing, high growing hydroponic plants.
About the Author
Advanced Nutrients website gives you free, exclusive information for high-yielding, high quality hydroponics, nutrients, coco coir products and hydroponic equipments for your crops to grow faster and yield more. Useful tips for indoor gardening and growing medium with coco coir.