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How to Control Pythium or Damping Off

Are you interested to know how to control Pythium? Pythium also referred to as damping-off, is a disease that attacks the base or the root structure of plants. It is important to be ready to easily spot symptoms and provide solutions if you think that your crop is infected with Pythium.

There are several different species of Pythium, but all of them prefer to prey on younger plants or seedlings. If your plants have been affected by Pythium, it can negatively affect the germination rate of your seeds. Pythium affects the bottom of the stem and soil point of intersection and symptoms include wilting and yellowing of leaves. Inspect the soil lines to ascertain if there’s a condition like this.

Pythium is rarely found in soilless mixes, however, can easily be spread by growers who are using dirty tools from an infected area.

How to Control Pythium or Damping Off

Ways Pythium Can Be Introduced in Your Seedlings

The pathogens (molds and fungi) responsible for spreading Pythium thrive in soil and its debris. Here are some of the ways damping off or Pythium can infiltrate your plants:

Using pots and tools that haven’t been properly cleaned can be the carrier of pathogens.

Fungus gnats, splashing irrigation water, and other insects can easily carry the harmful spores of Fusarium spp. to other plants.

Contaminated tools, dirty hands, and hose ends that were in contact with contaminated dirt and debris can also spread Pythium.

How to Prevent Pythium

Unfortunately, there’s no turning back for plants that have been affected by Pythium, but you can take proactive steps to prevent it from affecting your plants.

Tip #1: Keep your tools and containers clean and sterile

This is often to stop your crops from being infected due to unclean handy tools getting used from infected site or areas, into areas which aren’t yet infected by Pythium.

Tip #2: Use strain filters

For flood and drain setups, a strain filter is suggested to stop dirty water from flowing into the reservoir which could carry various diseases.

Tip #3: Use fungicides

Fungicides are an effective way to prevent damping off, but make sure to use them with caution. Follow label instructions to prevent it from harming your plants.

Tip #4: Use cinnamon

Cinnamon has anti-fungal properties and if you sprinkle it on top of your seeds before it germinates, it will create an anti-fungal barrier which can prevent the spread of Pythium.

 

Tip #5: Implement strict sanitation methods

Even if you treat the soil with fungicide or other preventive treatments, poor sanitation practices can reinfest treated soil with these pathogens.

 

Tip #6: Implement proper soil preparation and management

It’s important to provide proper soil drainage, ventilation, water-holding capacity, and plant nutrition. Be sure to add fertilizer and lime based on the soil test report to achieve the best results.

 

 

Pythium Blight: A Common Type of Pythium

Since Pythium blight is a common type of Pythium, people have different names for it such as grease spot, or cottony blight. Others also call it spot blight. In most cases, the grass gets affected by Pythium blight when the humidity levels are extremely high during the summer.

Additionally, this disease becomes more apparent when the temperatures during the daytime reach over 85 degrees Fahrenheit and when temperatures at night drop to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Grasses that thrive in cooler seasons are more vulnerable to Pythium blight than grasses that prefer warmer seasons. For this reason, one of the best ways to minimize your grass’s chances of catching Pythium blight is by giving your grass treatment a few tweaks and by resorting to fungicides.

Pythium blight is attracted to areas where humidity is high and water is left sitting on the grass for 12 hours or more. That greasy appearance is why the disease is usually called a “greasy spot”. Sometimes, cottony growth can also appear. This is often the fungus’ mycelium, it’s like a rootage.

After these initial symptoms, the grass dies and there’s a brown patch on the lawn. Don’t water your grass too much to prevent water from sitting too long on the soil. Water your grass early in the morning so it has all day for the soil to soak up the moisture. Watering deeply and seldomly is usually better than frequent, shallow watering to prevent Pythium blight from affecting your grass.

 

How to Control Pythium in Your Greenhouse

There are certain things you can do to prevent Pythium from preying on your plants. Here are some of the tips you need to remember:

 

Tip #1: Disinfect

Disinfect the nutrient solutions that are recirculating in your greenhouse.

 

Tip #2: Use higher substrate blocks

Widen the distance between the primary substrates by using higher substrate blocks for your seedlings.

 

Tip #3: Ensure warmth and proper drainage

Keep your plants warm and toasty after planting. Be sure that your plants have good drainage and the water for irrigation should be lukewarm.

 

The Benefits of Growing Plants in a Semi pro Greenhouse

There are several benefits of growing your plants in a semi pro greenhouse. For instance, it helps prevent insect infestation and infectious diseases from spreading between plants. It also keeps your plants safe from bad weather conditions. Keeping them in an enclosed space lowers the risk of inclement weather, pests, and diseases from affecting your plants.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Control Pythium

Now that you know how to control Pythium and how damping-off can affect your plants, you’ll be able to successfully prevent it from happening to your plants. Just make sure your plants are grown in ideal environments and you wouldn’t have to worry about Pythium.

 

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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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