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Common Mistakes When Using Beneficial Bacteria in Hydroponics

Posted March 11th, 2016 by Robin Nichols in

To make a nutrient solution and root zone enjoy as many of the benefits of soil, without suffering the disadvantages of soil, many hydroponic growers choose to supplement their garden with beneficial bacteria. These helpful microbes can make a whole host of improvements to both your hydroponic system and your plants by correcting atmospheric nitrogen, increasing nutrient uptake and decreasing the instances of disease. It is a shame that a significant portion of these growers do not enjoy the full spectrum of benefits that can be gained from beneficial bacteria because they make small, but important, errors during application. To make sure your investment in beneficial bacteria for your hydroponics system does not go to waste, learn to identify and avoid these common errors.

Forgetting to Use Bacteria for Clones and Seeds

It is strange, but even growers who know and understand the benefits of using beneficial bacteria will often only use them for their primary hydroponics system or systems and will not use them when propagating CESWebAdJune2016through seeds or cuttings. This is a huge mistake because at these delicate young stages are when your plants need the most help. This is pertinent to cloning where the difference between poorly fed young roots and adequately fed young roots can spell the difference between success and failure. Using beneficial microbes at this time can be crucial. These microbes will help your cuttings and seeds make the most efficient use of your nutrient solution, thus helping ensure greater odds of success. Many hydroponic manufacturers even recommend that products that contain these bacteria should be used at two three times the normal concentrations when used for propagating plants.

Simultaneously Using Hydrogen Peroxide

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to oxygenate your nutrient solution is to use hydrogen peroxide. This can particularly be helpful if your solution is lacking in oxygen or your roots are suffering from root rot. However, this compound is also a very potent bacteria killer and it will completely rid your reservoir of bacteria, both the good and bad kind, if you use it inappropriately. While hydrogen peroxide certainly has its uses, it is generally better to use an air pump in your reservoir for oxygenation while using beneficial bacteria.

Using the Same Amount for Vegetative Flowering Stages of Growth

As each plant has different needs, each plant also has these special needs at all of its different stages of life. Most manufacturers recommend that you use higher amounts during that vegetative state of growth and slightly less during the flowering stage of development. The vegetative stage is when rapid growth means that it needs the most nutrients to grow to its potential. During the flowering stage, growth has slowed significantly and it therefore is more prone to suffering nutrient excesses.

Not Adding Beneficial Bacteria to Foliar Spray

Your reservoir is not the only place that can benefit from beneficial microbes. You can also add it to your foliar spray so that the stomata of your leaves absorb the largest possible amount of nutrients. When using as a foliar spray, most growers choose to also add humic acid to help the spray stick to foliage.

Dal Banwait brings nearly 10 years of applied experience in the hydroponics, aeroponics and technology based agriculture and over 15 years of experience in traditional agriculture including the cultivation of crops such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

Want more information? Read these articles:

Bacteria are Great for Compost Tea

Organic Hydroponics and Bacteria Growth

Sterile Growing Media Could Become a Source of Bacterial Problems

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