Before planting hydroponics, you should incorporate organic matter in the grow media such as straw to improve drainage.
Always allow your soils to drain and partially dry before watering the plants. Do the watering less frequently and deeply; this will encourage root development and deep root growth.
If the plant is badly affected and at adverse stages, cut the damaged part and plant the rest as a clone to get a new plant-that is, if the plant can be propagated through this method. If you are using tins or pots for growing, make holes/perforations at the bottom. Fill the bottom part with grit to facilitate drainage. Make frequent examinations to ensure holes don’t clog up. Apply fungicides on the plant and grow media to control plant pests such as the molds, which may cause other disease infections. Do not compost overwatered plants, especially those already infected by root rot. This is so as to avoid transfer of root rot disease and other fungi to future plants to be grown in the same media. Checking water levels
Constantly check your soil moisture by sticking your finger one to two inches into the grow media. Don’t water if the soil is moist; if dry, however, you can water your plants.
If using a light container for growing, pick the container up and feel its weight before and after watering.
Moisture meters are also useful for constantly checking and recording the moisture levels of the soil. This helps keep a good record for you to know when your plants will or will not need water supply.
Determinants of water requirements to plants
The following factors determine how often plants should be watered, and the optimum amount of water to be supplied at particular times:
- At flowering/ budding, or when plants are growing fast, they tend to consume more water.
- Plants with large leaves tend to transpire more than those with smaller ones. These often need more watering.
- If a plant is being natured under direct sunlight, moisture evaporation is greater compared with indoor plants.
- The type of soil or the soil mixture determines water held. Clay soils, on the one hand, hold much water and for long; sand, on the other hand, will lose water fast and easily.
- Dry climate or winter seasons demand more watering. This is because evaporation rates are higher at such times than in other seasons.
- The type of container being used is an important consideration. Clay pots tend to lose water from the sides faster compared with plastic and wooden containers, or even sacks.