Greenhouse Season

The greenhouse season is about to start at the time of writing. Temperatures are now above freezing during the day, the sun is getting hotter, and a light frost is no longer an obstacle when crops are covered. Even fluctuations in the cold at night are not a problem with a tarp stretched over the structure. For those who already have a greenhouse, it is time to spend some time maintaining the facility and ensuring that it is still fully operational after winter. We will discuss the precautions to take in the following article.

Earth in a garden tunnel

Control after winter

  Whether the gardener is growing all year round or taking a break during the colder months, tunnel maintenance is probably necessary. This ensures smooth crop growth during the season. Neglecting maintenance can lead to bigger problems for the producer in the form of a torn tarp, poor thermal insulation, and the development of pathogens. Here is a list of tasks to do before each growing season:

 

Greenhouse cleaning

  It is recommended to check every cm2 of the greenhouse, as well as between the cultivation sites. Remove any plant residue, weeds; examine the condition of the geotextile. Remove the mulch or other garden substrate from the affected plants.

 

 Greenhouse tarp/membrane

  If the plastic film was in place all winter, it should be stretched and then inspected carefully. Check for holes, tears, or distortions. If you find any, there are two options. One of them is the use of greenhouse tape. It is applied to the damaged area, preventing the extension of the cut under wind pressure. It may also be that the tears are too large. In this case, replace the entire cover with a new one. There is a wide choice on the market: this membrane represents an essential element of the greenhouse. We encourage you to choose the one that will suit your needs.

Cleaning and sterilization of the structure

  After repairing the tarp, it’s time for sterilization. This is necessary if the producer wishes to avoid the development of pathogens that may play a role in the development of the disease. The whole process is performed with a high-pressure washer, water sprayed directly from a garden hose. The stores offer equipment specially designed to carry out this task.

 

 Greenhouse structure

  Proper maintenance of the frame ensures that it will be operational for years. However, look for signs of corrosion on the elements. If this is the case, it is advisable to replace the defective item with a spare part. Such an operation contributes to the longevity of structures made of steel tubes and profiles, limiting the risks of deterioration. The corners of tubes shall also be inspected to avoid sharp edges. It’s a safety concern as they can cut hands and membranes. The accessories most sensitive to corrosion are those placed near the ground, where moisture is present. Corroded tubes should be replaced as the deterioration can be spread further. These tubes and segments can be procured from the manufacturer upon special order. Tightening the screws, nuts, and leveling the frame are other tasks to perform when checking the structure.

 

 Disinfection of gardening tools

 Before cultivating, it is worth disinfecting each tool, even if it was already done at the end of the previous season. This is not strenuous work and will prevent plants from being exposed to pathogens. Planters, tables, pots, etc. must also undergo the same treatment.

 

Disinfection of gardening tools

  Before cultivating, it is worth disinfecting each tool, even if it was already done at the end of the previous season. This is not strenuous work and will prevent plants from being exposed to pathogens. Planters, tables, pots, etc. must also undergo the same treatment.

Earth in a garden tunnel

 Even with the best crop rotation and the best fertilization, it is essential to let the soil rest. In the case of small tunnels for vegetable gardens, it is sufficient to dismantle them and move them to a new site. A similar process will have to be repeated every 4 or 5 years. It all depends on the intensity of the culture. With big-scale constructions, it is more complicated. Usually, it is necessary to replace the substrate with a new one. A similar operation is essential with the planters: remove the old compost and renew it.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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