Root rot is a common problem in hydroponic systems, including NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) hydroponics. It is caused by the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi in the nutrient solution, which can damage or kill the roots of plants. Here are some steps you can take to prevent and handle root rot issues in an NFT hydroponics system:
- Monitor the pH and EC levels of the nutrient solution regularly to ensure they are within the optimal range for your plants. Most plants prefer a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, and an EC between 1.2 and 2.2.
- Maintain good water quality by using clean, filtered water and changing the nutrient solution every 1-2 weeks. Also, make sure the system is properly sterilized before planting to avoid introducing harmful microorganisms. Ensure there is considerable water volume with respect to the number of plants in the farm. Larger the number of plants, dissolved oxygen can get quicky depleted.
- Improve oxygenation and circulation in the root zone by increasing the air flow and/or adding an air stone to the nutrient solution. This can help prevent anaerobic conditions that encourage the growth of harmful microorganisms.
- Use beneficial microbes or bio-stimulants, such as mycorrhizae or Trichoderma, to help establish a healthy root system and combat harmful microorganisms. These can be added to the nutrient solution or applied as a root drench.
- If root rot has already set in, remove affected plants and disinfect the system with a hydrogen peroxide solution or another suitable sterilizing agent. You may also need to adjust the nutrient solution and/or pH levels to prevent the problem from recurring.
By following these steps, you can prevent and handle root rot issues in an NFT hydroponics system and ensure healthy plant growth. Solving this issue can ensure consistency in production for any farm doing commercial hydroponics in India
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