Cleaning Your System

Cleanliness is a must around, as well as in the system. Remove dead leaves before they rot, for this is an ideal place for fungus infection. Keep a close watch for red spider and white fly infestations. They are the two greatest insect problems in hydroponics. Insecticides will be discussed in detail later in the next chapter, but if you do use one, make sure it isn't the same brand all the time. Insects build up a resistance to one kind of insecticide very quickly. Also, try a little preventative spraying.

Once a year, or after every crop, clean out your system and sterilize the growing medium. This can be done by picking out the worst of the bits and pieces of r{X)ts and then placing the medium in the oven for about an hour at 450'500°F (232-260°C). Your system should be flushed every thirty days to remove accumulated mineral hardness left by water additions. Accumulated minerals and salts will slow down your plants' growth. Flushing is done with plain water. If your system has drain holes, plug them temporarily and fill the planter to the brim. Don't worry about the plants. Let the water stand for about an hour and then drain away. If you are flushing the system because of a nutrient oversupply, operate the planter on plain water for a week and only then begin a nutrient solution again. Otherwise, you should return to a nutrient solution right away.

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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