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Basil Raft System Issues

Thu, Feb 21st, 2019, created by Roberto Lopez and Kellie Walters
Growing culinary herbs such as basil hydroponically can be very simple and strait forward. However, some problems do arise. We recently noticed some basil plants in our greenhouse were stunted and quite small compared to adjacent plants. Prior to looking at the roots, we suspected Pythium root rot. Upon a closer look, we determine that the planting depth of the plant on the left was greater and the stem was under water. Notice how the stem was girdled and eventually desiccated.

If you are using a foam raft system, this problem may arise. When cleaning and sanitizing rafts for future use, you may accidentally increase the diameter of the holes that hold the plants. This may cause your substrate, or the basket holding your substrate to sit more deeply in the nutrient solution. Be aware of this and try to avoid increasing the diameter of the hole or, consider using wedges to maintain a proper planting depth.

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