One thing that you will more than likely come across in your hydroponic garden is pests and plant diseases. It is not something that you want to happen, and not knowing how to fix them can cause even more problems. We have put together The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot. This article discusses the most common pests and diseases, and how to deal with them. As well as how you can prevent them with your hydroponic system and even the MEGAPot system.
Hydroponics is a Latin word with the literal meaning of ‘waters work’ or ‘working water’ almost perfectly to describe what hydroponics does. Another quote you may well see floating around the internet is ‘hydroponics is the art of gardening without soil’.
When soil isn’t present the use of an inert medium (a medium that contains no nutritional value) will be necessary to support your plant’s root structure.
Modern hydroponics have come a long way since the 40s when the term was first coined. However, the techniques we use today are still largely based on systems used as far back as 600bc. Where the hanging gardens of Babylon became one of the seven wonders of the world.
The use of hydroponics has risen greatly over the last 20 or so years. And since then it has become an ever increasingly popular choice for those gardeners who are faced with minimal space or want the luxury of growing all year round.
Although there are several types of ways to grow hydroponically they all have many components in common with one another. We’ll go over these later in the article about The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot.
Below we’ve compiled a list of the common components that you’ll come across in most hydroponic systems.
This will be that inert medium we’ve already talked about. This helps support the root structure and supplies an extra downward weight for the inevitable event that your plant becomes top-heavy. Most growing media these days will also be a neutral pH level. This means it won’t disrupt your feeding nutrients. Commonly used media are coco coir, gravel, perlite, rock wool, and clay pellets.
Most systems will have some form of an air stone or pump that will allow the feeding water to become sufficiently aerated. And it prevents you from drowning your plants when you’re feeding them.
Basically, this can be summed up to somewhere for your plant to live. There are lots of different options on the market. And what you choose will largely be dictated by the system you choose to go with. Most suppliers or hydroponic shops will be happy to help you decide what system would be best fitted to your needs. So don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have, they are always happy to help. MEGAPot is always on hand too. You can see ways to contact us here.
All hydroponic systems will need some form of nutrient solution to feed the plants. There are loads on the market, keep an eye on whether the formulas say advanced. Advanced nutrients are for growers with a bit more experience and require a lot more mixing than some other brands.
For your plant to grow it’ll need those ever-important UV rays to sustain the photosynthesis process.
There are a variety of tents available on the market. And you’ll need a good one to ensure no wanted guests visit your plants and ruin your crops.
You’ll need a thermometer to accurately tell the temperature of the grow room. Some plants like it hotter. Whereas, some thrive in cooler environments. Either way, this is a simple but effective piece of equipment that should be in every grow room.
Before feeding your plants their nutrient water, you’ll need to ensure that the pH level is correct for the plant that you’re feeding. You can also get a meter that will help you tell the dampness of your soil. Most of these often have a pH meter which allows you to locate the pH level of your inert medium.
So the last item that will be needed for your grow room/ hydroponic system is some fans to circulate the air around the plant. Typical a smaller system would have one intake fan at the bottom. This brings in fresh air from outside the grow room. An exhaust fan will be then needed at the top of the system to expel the hot used air.
A number of tent fans will be required to circulate the air around the room. This number will depend on the size of the space and the number of plants. The feel of a gentle spring breeze is what you’re aiming for in most situations.
Now, we’re going to cover the main types of hydroponic systems that are used by indoor growers across the entire globe.
The DWC works by suspending the plant’s root system in aerated water. This is commonly quoted on the internet as being one of the easier or traditional ways of hydroponic growing. This is because it has much in common with the methods used in the hanging gardens of Babylon.
Wick systems use inert media to support the plant whilst the root system hangs over a reservoir that houses nutrient solution. Wicks are situated from the reservoir and travel to the growing tray. The nutrient water is then forced by capillary action into the growing media or tray for the plant to consume. As there is no pump required for a wick system it is known as passive hydroponics.
NFT works in a similar way to DWC in that the plant is suspended above a reservoir of nutrient-rich water. However, NFT differs as in this case the water continuously flows through and washes over the plant’s root system. Another way that NFT differs is that the entire root system of the plant isn’t covered by water, only the tips have a thin stream of water covering them. The stream is so thin it looks like a film and such is how it got its name.
Ebb and Flow systems work by flooding the nutrient-rich water into the grow bed from a reservoir below. Commonly people will use timers to activate their pumps. When the timer starts the grow bed becomes flooded. This water then dries out which gives them oxygen this is the ebb period.
A hydroponic drip system does what it says on the tin. It feeds the plant by slowly dripping the nutrient water from a reservoir below into the plant growing media. This is a popular choice with those more commercial operations. Although it can be utilised by home growers as well.
Aeroponics works by suspending the plants above the reservoir of water. However, in this case, the naked roots are sprayed or misted as needed. Some aeroponics growers choose to mist their plants all the time. Whilst others choose to go for a more staggered approach.
And last but, definitely not least, the MEGAPot. MEGAPot is for those growers who love the convenience of growing in a pot but want the growth rates and potential massive crop sizes hydroponic growing can offer.
The revolutionary gravity-fed design allows you to harness the greatest force known to man to feed your plants. And the circular design allows you to rotate your plant when it needs to be rotated! Not only that but, the MEGAPots modular design allows you to scale your grow project from 1 plant to 100s.
If you would like to find out more about the MEGAPot system, click here.
Now we’ve covered what hydroponics is and what the different methods of hydroponic growing are. Hopefully, this will help you make the best-informed decision about your indoor garden possible.
If you’re still undecided why not head over to our blog page and check out some more articles about hydroponic growing. As well as the differences between different systems. Click here to view our other blogs.
Here at MEGAPot, we know how important it is to our customers that they finish their harvest with stellar crops and massive yields. Unfortunately, pests and diseases can invade your grow room then destroy all of your hard work and investments.
Before we can start dealing with your pest infestation we have to know exactly what pests we are dealing with. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most common pests you could find trying to set up a home in your grow room and how to spot them.
Here are the five most common pests you will find in your grow room or hydroponic garden.
A spider mite infestation can be identified by the appearance of small yellow specks or spots on the top side of the plant’s leaves. This is what the spider mites have been feeding on. Other signs of a spider mite infestation are small webbing between branches and leaves. Whilst the underside of the leaf can often display small white dots, these are spider mite eggs.
Another way to tell if you have the mites in your indoor garden is to wipe the underside of the leaf with a damp cloth. If you come back with small red streaks this is a sure-fire sign you have a spider mite problem.
Another tiny anniversary of the hydroponic grower, tough to identify but their damage will be easy to spot a mile off. Signs that you have a thorp infestation are small black spots or specks on the topside of the leaves. It is also common to see leaves turn brown and die if the thrips have got hold of your plant.
Spotting aphids is quite difficult but signs you should look out for include deformed leaf and stem areas. As well as that it is also possible to spot what looks like small drops of honey on the leaves. This is a waste product of aphids and will likely turn into a black soot-like mold if left unattended.
The whitefly is almost like a tiny moth to the eye. Which can make them easy to see but almost impossible to police as they can just fly away if they are disturbed. Whiteflies feed on your plants causing visible white spots and yellowing. If left untreated this can see your entire crop wasted.
Some people say that fungus gnats aren’t actually harmful to the plant itself. However, their larvae feed on the roots of the plan. Which in turn slows the growth of your plant. And to us here at MEGAPot that seems like an issue you shouldn’t live with. Also, it could be argued if growth is slowed your overall harvest will likely be affected too.
So we’ve covered the most common pests you could potentially come across in your indoor garden. It’s now time to look at the most common diseases known to affect grown rooms.
Now we’ve taken a look at the most common pests known to invade grow areas worldwide, it’s time to explain what measures you can take yourself in dealing with a pest problem.
Dealing with a pest problem shouldn’t be seen as a reactive activity. Eg: you should start to think about pest control and taking preventive measures from day one instead of waiting until you have a problem to deal with it.
Many of the pests on our list (spider mites, fungus gnats, whiteflies, and thrips) are attracted to low humidity and excess moisture levels, so keeping a good eye on the humidity levels (Around 50% is recommended) inside your tent will help prevent some pests from being attracted to your area.
It’s also a great idea to check your room and plants over once a week to check for any potential signs of a pest problem, while you’re in there give the room a good clean out too. Ensure not to leave any water anywhere and clear away any dead plant matter you may find. Another top tip would be to use a magnifying glass to inspect your plants, as some of these bugs are tiny and super difficult to spot.
However, sometimes all of these preventive measures won’t work and you may find that your grow room is under attack. Below we’ve put together some of the most common remedies and courses of action you can take if you face a pest infestation.
If you have multiple plants in your grow room but, the infestation has yet to take a grip of the rest of the area, remove the infected plant out, in some cases moving the plant to a different area may well be enough to get rid of some of these dastardly demons from your plant. At the very least this will decrease the chances the rest of your crop will become infected.
Many of the signs of a potential pest problem in your grow area are quite similar, most of these bugs are now in your environment and they intended to live off and on your plant.
Common signs of a pest infestation are discoloration and deformity of the leaves, often strange colours such as yellow or red might be found as well.
So in this part of The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot article we’re going to help you identify the most common diseases that are known to take even the mightiest grown room to its knees.
At first, it might look a bit like someone has sprinkled some doughnut sugar on a couple of leaves. But, if left untreated the mildew will infect your entire plant. Which will lead to you losing your complete crop.
Sometimes called ghost spots, gray mold will first appear as small fuzzy grey spots. And if left to their own devices will devour your plant leaving you with a brown soggy mush.
Although the overall effect of the downy mold is the same as the powdery mold downy mold, as its name suggests, it mostly appears on the underside of the leaf. The mildew here isn’t as powdery as its upperside cousin. However, it’s just as deadly for your plant.
Unlike most of the other diseases here, this is actually a problem you will cause yourself. Often diagnosed as a different issue you’ll likely see leaves turning bright yellow while the veins stay green.
When you overfeed your plants you stand the chance of getting root rot. Root rot will make your leaves turn yellow. And eventually, make your plant die away to that lovely brown mush we mentioned earlier.
Now that we’ve covered the most common pest and diseases you could come across in your green-fingered adventures. I think it should be clear to most of you reading this article about The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot that the bottom line with all of these points is. If these pests and diseases are left unattended your plant will die and your crop will be wasted.
Nobody wants to deal with pests or diseases in their indoor garden. And there are a few ways that you can do your part to ensure that you don’t get an infestation when you least expect it.
Here are a few easy to do things you can do yourself to prevent pests and diseases in your grow room.
Keep your grow room clean. Get rid of all the dust you can, clean out fans, and keep the area as clinical as possible. It’s also a good idea to wear clean cloth and wash your hands or wear gloves before you intend to handle the plants. This will help prevent any cross-contamination.
This again ties into the first point but, ensuring your plant is clean and that there is no plant matter left around the base, etc will help prevent infestation. Pruning your plant will also prevent the spread of things like mold. Not only that if you regularly prune your plant you may well find it increases the plant’s growth.
You may find it beneficial to place sticky traps around your grow area that will help to catch any potential plant predators and put them in their place!
This one will really depend on what you are growing. But, there are some sprays on the market that are tailored to killing off pests and the like. Don’t forget there are organic pesticides available. Some growers have had excellent results with garlic sprays for instance.
Now, this may be a bit extreme for some people, but there’s an increasing number of growers who are reporting great success using beneficial predators such as nematodes. So, basically, fill your grow medium with bugs to kill the bugs you don’t want in your tent.
Now we’re going to explore the 10 most popular ways used by hydroponic growers to avoid pests and disease.
Firstly, we will discuss the 10 ways to avoid pests in your hydroponic garden.
Having the incorrect humidity in your grow space is a sure-fire way to invite most pests into your grow room. A humidity level of around 50% is recommended for most plants. Although that level may differ depending on your plant of choice.
Although many of the grow mediums on the market today are sterile. Some grow mediums such as coconut or rice husk are known to be quite inviting to most pests.
Bringing a new cutting or baby into your grow area might seem like a great idea at first. However, it’s probably worth putting your cutting into quarantine first. This way you’ll know if it’s free of contamination or not. If you’re unsure don’t bring any new plants into your indoor garden until the start of a new life cycle.
Cleaning the grow room once a week will help prevent any unwanted pests from visiting and ruining your crops. Giving the area a good hoover then cleaning the space with disinfectant (make sure you ensure your plants are a long way away) and clean the fans out.
Anytime you plan on handling your plants or entering your indoor garden it would be a good idea to make sure your clothes are clean. And that you’ve washed your hands.
As we’ve previously discussed in this article, The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot, several of the most common pests found in grow rooms do not like ‘breezy’ types of conditions. So, keeping the fans in your grow room circulating air around blowing a light breeze over them. This will help prevent some pests from making your crops their home.
As with most of the things on this list, you can sum this up to keeping your area sterile, clean and doing your best to not unwittingly let any pets into your tent. So, keeping your dog, cat or mogwai away from your crops is another top tip when it comes to avoiding pests in your indoor garden.
Adding insects to your growbed is another way that has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Nematodes, ladybirds
Another way to make sure that nothing unwanted from the outside comes into your indoor garden is to regularly check the seals around the areas your fans are connected to your tent. This gives you a chance to clean your fans out as well. Fans are quite commonly the dirtiest piece inside your grow room so pay particular attention to those.
Ultimately some of the best advice you can take away from this article is, keep a regular eye on your plant. If your plant isn’t happy there’s probably a reason behind that, whether that be a pest infestation or something else.
Now we’re going to take a look at 10 popular ways to avoid disease in your grow area.
One of the first places to look when thinking about avoiding disease in your grow room is to avoid creating the sort of space that allows diseases to thrive. Having aeration stones or pebbles in your grow bed helps the water become aerated (which is great for your plant’s root growth). And they also help with drainage.
Ensuring your plant has the correct amount of aeration will make your plant breathe fresh air. Which is necessary for the ever-important photosynthesis to take place.
As you go toward the latter half of your plant’s life cycle you may find that your grow tent becomes a little full. However regular pruning on the lower leaves or leaves that look like they may have some sort of defiancy can not only prevent diseases from happening but are also known ways to promote growth in plants.
Making sure that your grow bed has no waste plant matter left in it should also rank quite highly on your list of priorities. Waste plant matter can lead to pests and contribute to some very nasty diseases such as root rot.
Although some feeding techniques actually involve you flooding your plant with it’s feeding water. Overfeeding your plant can cause you a whole host of different problems from nutrient burn to root rot. Depending on your method of growing they’ll be different ways of telling if your plant is hungry. For those who are growing with grow bags or our MEGAPot system, it’s as simple as picking up the grow bag. If the bag is light your plant needs feeding.
Having the correct amount of acidity in your feeding water is highly important. Failing to do so will lead to your plant becoming quite poorly. Most plants have the need for water at around 5.5-7pH. If you’re unsure of what the correct pH level is for your specific plant, ask Google. Google is your friend.
With all of these points, the idea is to create a perfect environment for your plant to thrive. But not the perfect environment for any potential harmful pests out. Keeping your room at an ambient temperature of between 20 -28 ºC is an ideal temperature for your plant to successfully grow. And to keep your grow room invaders at bay.
If your lights are too close to your plant it can lead to you scorching your leaves. This will negatively impact your plant’s growth. Most light manufacturers will include the perfect light heights for their products. These in some cases will include when to move the light accordingly depending on the plant’s life cycle. In a small grow room you wouldn’t want your plant to come closer than around 2ft to your light.
One of the main elements to keeping your grow room free from pests is vigilance. Your grow room is Gotham city and you’re Batman! So, keeping a note of what things are happening and when will assist you down the line if something does go awry.
Just like with pests, diseases can enter a grow room from literally anywhere. So, changing your clothes and washing your hands will also be beneficial in that regard.
Just like the pH, giving your plant an incorrect amount of nutrients can cause nutrient burn and halt the progress your plant was making. Most nutrient companies supply a chart that informs you when to feed your plant and at what dosages.
The MEGAPot system is a gravity-fed hydroponics system that is designed for growers who like to want the benefits of growing hydroponically. But still want the ease of using grow bags in their setup.
The MEGAPot system is almost the definition of Einstein’s quote ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler’. As it’s simple yet innovative design allows growers to achieve bigger yields with fewer plants.
The gravity-fed nature of the MEGAPots feeding system means that you won’t need any electricity or noisy pumps in your grow room. The system is easy to set up. And is suitable for all levels of gardeners. From beginners to all those bobby green thumbs out there.
The MEGAPot doesn’t just deal with the feeding of your plant but, it also catches all the excess runoff and stores it. Then the system allows you to easily drain it off with the handy tap on the side. This helps in keeping your grow room clean and sterile during the growing process.
For such a simple system the MEGAPot does really pack a mighty punch, below we’ve compiled a list of features the system includes.
No electricity or noisy pumps will be needed to run this system. Now the nosey neighbours won’t have anything to moan about. Because the gravity-fed system of the MEGAPot is as quiet as a mouse.
It doesn’t matter what size of bag you use as the MEGAPot system can fit bags up to 58L. Which is more than enough even for the most greedy gardeners.
The MASSIVE (so big I had to write it in CAPS!) 10mm inlet hole means blockages will not appear often in your pipework. A blocked pipe means that your plant won’t be receiving the nutrients it needs to grow big and strong. This can also mean leaks. Leaks can obviously become quite costly to repair if the problem goes unseen for a period of time.
The 10mm raised base of the MEGAPot system is specifically designed to facilitate the use of air curtains in your set up. Air curtains aid in the oxygenation of the nutrient water. This is needed for your plant to survive, thrive, and reach its full potential.
The MEGAPot system allows the nutrient water to be oxygenated at all times. Even without the use of additional air curtains, the MEGAPot system provides more than enough oxygenation in the feeding water for your plant to grow big and strong.
The modular design of the MEGAPot allows it to be scalable from one to literally hundreds of pots. So it’ll be left up to your imagination and size of your grow space to decide the limiting factors when you’re growing with MEGAPot.
If you want your plant to grow to be a big boy then you’ll need to ensure the whole plant receives an even amount of light. The circle design of the MEGAPot unit allows your plant to be rotated when it needs to be rotated. This allows you to provide the optimal conditions for your plant to succeed. This also makes inspecting the plant for any potential problems is easy as pie.
Another major benefit of growing with the MEGAPot is whatever your plant of choice you’ll need to do some sort of pruning to your plant during its life cycle. The tapered walls allow for complete access to the plant from top to bottom which makes pruning your plant a piece of cake. Don’t be scared to prune your plant. In many cases, good pruning can promote the growth of the plant and affect the overall crop size.
When put side by side with other popular methods of growing hydroponically, it’s clear that the MEGAPot comes head and shoulders above its competition. The gravity-fed system allows you to grow with all the benefits that hydroponics allows. But, with the simplicity of using grow bags. The MEGAPot system can hold up to 56L pots which means you’ll be able to grow the monster plants of your dreams!
You can compare the MEGAPot system with the Ebb and Flow System here in our article. The most popular Ebb and Flow system is the IWS Flood and Drain, rated 4 out of 5 stars.
One of the overarching ideas in the prevention of pests and diseases in your grow room is keeping the area clean. Spilled water and dead plant matter as these are can be two common contributing factors to your tent becoming infested with pests and disease.
The MEGAPots gravity-fed systems makes sure waste is minimal. Not only the tap on the side means any extra runoff can be drained from and exposed in a clean manner, making sure that spilled water is a thing of the past.
The circular design and tapered walls make inspecting and pruning extremely easy. And in the unfortunate event, you do find an infestation the modular design of the MEGAPot means you can move the infected plant into quarantine without too much fuss.
Although the design of the MEGAPot is extremely simple it was built with many factors in mind. Not only did we want to provide our customers with a method of growing that’ll provide them those massive crops everyone talks about on the internet. But, we wanted to offer a solution to those folk who are wanting more of a worry-free growing experience.
Unfortunately even if you take every precaution in the world you still may face an invasion in your grow room. However, ensuring that you have taken every precaution will give you the best chance your plant will reach maturity and that you receive a very happy harvest.
We believe that the MEGAPot not only will boost your plants crop potential but aid in the prevention of pests and diseases entering your tent and destroying your crops.
To purchase your MEGAPot system and start your green-fingered journey click here to take a look at our system.
We hope you have learnt lots in our article The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Pests & Disease with MegaPot. We have packed it with as much information as we can with everything there is to know about pests and diseases. You can take some simple steps to prevent getting pests. As well as being able to now easily identify if your plants in your garden currently have any pests or diseases.
If you have any further questions, or would like any more guidance on pests or diseases in your hydroponic garden, then do not hesitate to get in touch. The team at MEGAPot is here to help whenever you need it!
You can find the different ways to contact us here.