Algae Management

Difficulties related specifically to Semi-Hydroponic culture
raybark
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Algae Management

Postby raybark » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:28 pm

Any time you have water + light + nutrition, you're going to have algae. You can prevent it from growing in semi-hydroponic pots by eliminating one of the three, and as your plants need both water and nutrition, you can eliminate light by using an opaque pot, which is one of the reasons we offer the white S/H pots.

I prefer to see what's going on with the root system, so use clear pots and employ a chemical means of algae control.

For several years I used household chlorine bleach (at 1 ounce per gallon) as a drench every 6 to 8 weeks. Some, more delicate plants are sensitive to chlorine bleach, but most are not disturbed by it at all. I later "discovered" Physan (1 tsp/gal), which is very effective and probably a better overall disinfectant than bleach. I keep it as part of my arsenal, just in case.

More recently I received a free sample of Zero-Tol, a hydrogen peroxide-based product. It is far more effective than drug store hydrogen peroxide, which decomposes instantly upon application, as it is stabilized with peroxyacetic acid. That stabilization keeps the peroxide active until it dries. I have been using it on a monthly basis for the last six months – completely dousing the greenhouse glazing, floors, benches, and plants, and have had no issues with fungal infections of any sort while keeping the greenhouse and the S/H pots algae-free. Similarly, I have seen no damage to any plants or flowers.

I now carry the product in two different packages (and inconveniently sold under two different brand names), Zero-Tol RTS and OxiDate RTU. The former is sold as a quart bottle of concentrate that attaches to a hose-end via its own "ready-to-spray" mixing nozzle. The nozzle is adjustable for an upward or downward fan spray, making the treatment of large areas simple. The OxiDate RTU is a quart, ready-to-use, hand-pumped spray bottle, already diluted to usable strength. It is ideal for smaller applications.

You may find both in the "chemicals" section of our store.
Ray Barkalow
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ORX
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Re: Algae Management

Postby ORX » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:26 pm

If I wanted to use the Zero-Tol RTS as a monthly drench to prevent algae, what dilution would be appropriate?

Any thoughts on whether this or Physan works better for algae-prevention on the S/H pot walls?

raybark
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Re: Algae Management

Postby raybark » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:16 pm

The RTS is a spray bottle, so you just put it on a hose and flood away. If you want to hand-dilute it, it's 0.85 oz/gallon.

Both products are effective, but I think the Zero-Tol has fewer phytotoxicity issues.
Ray Barkalow
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bigblackbear
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Re: Algae Management

Postby bigblackbear » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:43 pm

Hi Ray,

you wrote:
about Zero-Trol "hand-dilute it, it's 0.85 oz/gallon"

"completely dousing the greenhouse glazing, floors, benches, and plants, and have had no issues with fungal infections of any sort while keeping the greenhouse and the S/H pots algae-free."

"Once the algae has grown, if it not a good idea to try to kill it in-place, as you then have a bunch of necrotic tissue in the pot.
From my perspective, you have two choices: repot and clean the old one (I just stick 'em in the dishwasher), or do periodic preventive treatments to avoid it altogether."

I believe I underatnd, to a point...
I have ordered some Zero-Trol and plan to treat the plants and then repot.
Would you be more specific about treating the plants for repotting and / or in the S/H pots themselves for algae control?
Do you simply flush the pots with diluted Zero-Trol and repot or leave them until the next watering?
or do you then flush the pots with water to remove the Zero-Trol and if so, after how long and how many "flushes"?

Thanks

raybark
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Re: Algae Management

Postby raybark » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:58 am

Algae control needs to be proactive and preventive, not reactive.

If I'm being diligent, about every 6-8 weeks I spray the entire greenhouse, soaking the glazing, walls, floors and plants, including flooding the pots. Then I walk away.

As far as repotting is concerned, that's a matter of dump the old mediam and pot, replacing them with new. Pots are easily cleaned in the dishwasher (when my wife is not home), and the medium can be soaked to kill the algae and other pathogens, then rinsed and reused.
Ray Barkalow
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bigblackbear
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Re: Algae Management

Postby bigblackbear » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:38 pm

Still learning....
I didn't know algae could / would be an issue until I started growing orchids 6 months ago, now I know and have to deal with it.

I understand that going forward I have to be proactive and take preventative measures.

At the moment I have an "algae problem" that needs management
I have decided to follow your advise and repot with new media.

My question is:
How best to eliminate the algae with Zero-Trol before repotting and how to apply it to S/H pots as a preventative once I have addressed the overgrowth I have?

As I don't have a green house but S/H pots in trays is it OK to fill the pots with diluted Zero-Trol and "walk away"?
is any flushing or rinsing required?
is one treatment enough before repotting?
How long should I wait to repot?

any insights, suggestions, comments or advise are appreciated

Thanks

raybark
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Re: Algae Management

Postby raybark » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:08 pm

1) Algae is only an aesthetic issue, for the most part. (Years of neglect might prove to be otherwise, but you'd likely repot before anything negative happened, anyway.

2) Repot with fresh medium and a pot, if you want. manually pluck off any clumps on the plant, but don't be too concerned about it. Once you start the preventive treatments, it'll diminish gradually.

3) Yes. Walk away.
Ray Barkalow
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bigblackbear
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Re: Algae Management

Postby bigblackbear » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:31 am

Thank you for your explanation and patience Ray!
I will sleep easier tonight and approach the algae issue with a better understanding and less "urgency" (panic :oops: )
Sincerely,
philip

peteg
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:52 am

Re: Algae Management

Postby peteg » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:40 am

Hi,
I realise this is an old text, but in relation to Oxidate RTU which is still available, what's the effect on Inocucor if any. Would you stagger the dosings or does it nulify the Inocucor treatments completely?
Many thanks.

raybark
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Re: Algae Management

Postby raybark » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:38 am

The live cultures in Inocucor Garden Solution will be killed by any chemical with fungicidal action, but their metabolites are likely to still be effective.

If you are applying each on a monthly basis, I'd stagger the two with a two-week separation.
Ray Barkalow
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peteg
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Re: Algae Management

Postby peteg » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:25 pm

Many thanks Ray.
That's really useful.

Regards,
Pete


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