Many gardeners are turning to hydroponic ways of growing plants for better yield and quality. So obviously, even hydroponic garden is subject to infestation by insects, pests, and diseases. These insects will move into the growing space and will cause significant damage to the plants.

pests on plants

Nearly all pests like spider mites, whiteflies, aphids can cause problems in hydroponic plantation just like they affect the plants that grown in soil.

First off, to get rid of harmful insects, you have to identify them and find out which other insects will eat them. For example, if aphids infest the plants, you can grow plants that attract ladybugs as it the best way to get rid of aphids. Small and medium infestation can be controlled by the introduction of beneficial insects. Quick intervention of these friendly insects can help in controlling pests and will eliminate the harmful impact they cause.

One of the most popular ways to combat pest infestation is by introducing beneficial life forms into the system. Particular kind of fungi and bacteria will push out these pests by either consuming them or by producing toxins that are harmful to these pests. The following infographic can help you with garden pest control.

Diy garden pest control infographic

Pesticidal soaps have been used for many years to exterminate pests which are also helpful in hydroponic gardens. A good quality pesticidal soap includes compounds naturally produced by plants. Neem oil is also useful for controlling pests that affect plants.

Companion planting is also the most common method used in hydroponics cultivation to avoid pest infestation. Crops are intermixed with plants that help to repel pests in the primary crops. For example, you may see marigolds in-between the crops as certain bugs do not like the smell of marigolds.

yellow sticky fly paper

Yellow sticky cards are also used for trapping or monitoring fungus gnats and many other flying insects like aphids, thrips, and whitefly. The bright yellow color will attract the pests, and they will get stuck on the sticky surface. These cards are used as means for detecting early pest infestations.

Botanical sprays are made from plants that have insecticidal qualities and are safer than chemical insecticides. Even though they are natural, they must be used as a last resort.

Modern seed breeding are resistant to a wide range of insects and are adaptable to harsh climates. Growers are encouraged to talk to their local seed representative for samples and experiment with them.

Apart from crops every piece of equipment including pumps, trays, and any other equipment used should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. Use bleach or hydrogen peroxide solutions as they are the most efficient way to sterilize the equipment.
Plants that are growing in the hydroponic system are more fragile than soil-based ones, due to the lack of soil for root anchoring. So, extra care and attention is needed for these plants. Simple things like regular inspection of roots and foliage combined with cleanliness can save the plants.  

Filed under: Hydroponics Gardening

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