Growing plants in ahopegarden farms and gardens is hassle-free but, unfortunately, alien visitors from the outdoors may come and harm your plant.
Our products are ecologically clean - our soil doesn’t contain any harmful substances e.g. fungicides or pesticides. But this might make your plants somewhat vulnerable to attacks. Here we give some suggestions how to manage your product and what to do if your plants don't thrive or you find unwelcome visitors in your indoor garden.
Tips for bug prevention:
Avoid leaving doors and windows open (e.g. for ventilation). This way insects can’t fly to your garden and harm your plants.Inspect the pots, plants, and cut flowers carefully that you plan to bring home from the nursery. Sadly, it is common that “new” plants are already infected with pests and/or fungal diseases before you bring them home. If you see something suspicious e.g. tiny insects or weird spots on leaves, better to not bring it home. Keep the Smart Garden away from any fresh produce (especially if it is organic) - it is common for thrips and aphids to travel to your home with store-bought vegetables, greens and fruit.
Check before you suspect a disease:
Is your plant too old?
Edible greens are meant to be consumed in about 30 days and herbs in about 70 days after planting. If your plants change colour in an undesired way, make sure that you have trimmed your plants properly and consumed it in time.
Plants aren’t thriving?
The best average temperature to grow your plants is 18 to 24C (64 to 75F). If it is too hot, plants age faster and degrade faster. Lower temperatures prevent seeds from germinating. Also, edible greens, especially lettuce, prefer slightly lower temperatures, max 22C (71F), to produce delicious crops.
Leaves or flowers falling off?
Since it is pure nature you have in your garden, plants also produce some natural debris. It means that plants will lose some lower and/or older leaves and flowers once they are done. If some flowers or leaves wither - just remove them.
If you allow your plant to grow too tall e.g. basil, it will get burnt if it grows too close to the lamp. In that case you may raise the lamp if it is an option. It is also highly recommended to pinch the plants. If you do so you will have even bushier plant and more crop to enjoy.
Most common insects:
The most common insects that may infiltrate your indoor garden are aphids (plant lice, greenfly), spidermites, thrips, whiteflies, mealy bugs, scale insectsIf you find just the first or just a few insects that have not started a colony yet, you should remove them immediately and you may leave the plants to grow.If you find them already in great numbers you should remove the whole plant(s), because they are very good at hiding in growing points and under or between the leaves.We don’t recommend to use insecticides as a first choice. Most chemicals (even organic ones) are not meant to be used indoors and after the treatment the plants are no longer consumable. Also, most insecticides don’t only work for insects- they will also harm human health.After removing the plants, clean your product thoroughly. Wash the cavities under running water and disinfect all surfaces. For that you can use antiseptic solutions, vodka, vinegar or any other disinfecting product.The soil may get infected with an insect called springtail. They are generally harmless, but they may injure lower leaves of the plant that in turn might get infected with a fungal disease (but not always). There is no need to repel springtails, but you can get rid of them if you change all the capsules at the same time and clean your garden thoroughly before planting new plant capsules. By doing so you prevent the insects from travelling to new capsules. Also, inspect all other ‘oldschool’ plant pots you have in your home. If you have springtails living there aswell, just change your watering regime and let the soil to dry out for a few days and they’ll leave.
If plants have external injuries or some insects have damaged them, it is likely that the plants are more vulnerable to fungal infection.Fungal diseases travel with air and infected plant material. So, as mentioned previously, always check the new plants you bring home.In case of fungal disease the first thing you will notice is weird spots on or under the leaves and that the leaves will start to wither when they are not supposed to.If it is just the one leaf that is damaged, remove the leaf immediately and carefully inspect all the plants.Disinfect all surfaces, and also your scissors that you use for cutting.For that you can use ethanol, food vinegar or any other disinfecting product.Most fungal diseases appear when the air is too humid and the temperature is either too hot or cold.
Nevertheless, it is likely an exception than a rule that plants get harmed by disease or insects in our indoor gardening systems. After all, one of the benefits of growing your own food and fresh flowers in indoor gardens is that your plants are protected from the hazards of the outdoors. This allows us to give you a clean product without any harmful substances e.g. fungicides and insecticides. Just enjoy!