Root Zone Health

Summary

  • 2-5ppm of free chlorine proves to be the minimum effective concentration.
  • 5ppm free chlorine is the most efficacious for a wide variety of plant species.
  • Levels as high as 20ppm of free chlorine are tolerated by plants with virtually no phytotoxic effects.
  • pH must be kept in check - letting pH drift above 7.0 reduces the efficacy of free chlorine and many pathogens, including Pythium spp., thrive in increased alkaline conditions. pH values <6.1 greatly reduces pathogenic outbreak and increases efficaciousness of free chlorine.
  • Root zone temperatures should not be allowed too high or this will increase pathogen susceptibility.
  • Give Commercial Edition Zone a try as a tested and proven root zone conditioner!

What is root rot?

Root rot is typically caused by root-zone pathogens that are one of the largest threats to commercial hydroponic crops worldwide - capable of devastating entire harvests and costing farmers a great deal of time and money lost. The most destructive pathogens that cause root rot are Pythium spp. and Phytophthora spp. followed by viruses, bacteria, and nematodes. Keeping the water clean and free of these forms of microbial life is the surest way to maintaining a healthy root zone in hydroponic applications.

How do I prevent root rot? 

There are a variety of methods for preventing root rot and maintaining clean nutrient reservoirs, with the most popular being oxidizing agents (sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) combined with frequent tank changes. There is no doubt about the oxidation potential of the chloride ion - it is highly toxic to a multitude of microorganisms while posing a minimal threat to plants and mammals at appropriate concentrations. In fact, chlorine is an essential micronutrient for many plants, being used during photosynthesis (Hill Reaction). Beneficial to the plant and detrimental to root-zone pathogens? I think we have a winner!

Levels as low as 0.77mg/L (a.k.a. ppm) of free chlorine have been proven to be effective at controlling Phytophtora spp. zoospores in commercial greenhouse water reservoirs, proving that it does not take much to elicit an oxidative (destructive) response towards harmful pathogens. The most beneficial levels of free chlorine have been documented between 2-5ppm – with this range providing the most plant growth and yields while completely annihilating root-zone pathogens (Pythium spp., phytopthora spp., etc). Aggressive feeders (cannabis, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) have been shown to tolerate levels of free chlorine as high as 20ppm with virtually no signs of phytotoxicity. While research is ongoing concerning continuous chlorine sterilization in cannabis, the general consensus seems to indicate levels of 5ppm free chlorine provides the most benefit to many plants - indicating a chlorine “sweet spot”.

What is the best product for root rot? 

Dutch Master Commercial Edition Zone has been formulated to provide the correct amount of specialized free chlorine, on an ongoing basis, protecting your valuable plants from nasty root zone pathogens and allowing maximal nutrient uptake by the roots!

Through the continual use of low concentrations of free chlorine (<5ppm), root-zone pathogens can be eliminated and prevented efficiently. In addition to the reduced instance of pathogens, plant growth is bolstered and greater yields can be consistently expected with use.