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How To Get Rid Of Leaf Miners: 7 Helpful Tips

It’s extremely important to know how to get rid of leaf miners because these pests can cause serious plant damage if you let them have their way.

Leaf miners are the maggot or larval stage of insects that feed between the lower and upper surfaces of plant leaves. They can significantly reduce crop value, so you should know how to properly and efficiently get rid of them.

 

How To Get Rid Of Leaf Miners: 7 Helpful Tips

Why Leaf Miners Are Difficult To Kill

Leaf miners are challenging to kill because they eat the inner leaves of plants. They are usually found on shrubs, bushes, and broadleaf trees like aspen, elm, poplar, and hawthorn.

Spraying the plants with pesticides could help. However, the effect may not last as long because this method only coats the leaf’s surface.

 

How To Get Rid Of Leaf Miners

Organic and natural methods work best when dealing with leaf miners, so don’t wait until you find squiggly tunnels on the leaves of your plants. If you want to get rid of leaf minors, then follow these tips as soon as possible to save your plants sooner than later.

 

Tip #1: Discard infected leaves

Break off infected leaves, and put them in the trash. You should also check new transplants for any sign of leaf miner activity. There are two ways to deal with leaf miners on new transplants: returning the plants to the nursery or removing the infected leaves.

 

Tip #2: Squeeze the leaves

As soon as you notice the beginning of white, wavy lines, you should squeeze the plant’s leaves to kill the larvae. By squeezing the leaves, you get the pleasure of killing the leaf miners without having to touch them.

 

Tip #3: Use trap crops

Trap crops refer to plants that look attractive to pests. Plant trap crops nearby to prevent leaf miners from infesting your plants. Some of the best trap crops are velvetleaf, columbine, and lambsquarter.

 

Tip #4: Use barriers

You can either use black plastic or floating row covers to stop leaf miners from invading your garden. The plastic prevents mature larvae from dropping to the soil and digging into it, thereby disturbing their life cycle.

On the other hand, floating row covers prevent the adult female insects from landing on the plants to lay their eggs. You have to secure the ends and sides of the covers to the ground to prevent insects from getting in.

 

Tip #5: Release beneficial insects

You can release beneficial insects like the Diglyphus isaea in your garden to kill leaf miners. It is a parasitic wasp that stings and paralyzes leaf miners. The female will lay eggs near the leaf miner, and the hatching larvae will eat the paralyzed host.

 

Tip #6: Use a sticky trap

Sticky traps are coated with adhesive. The cards are either placed on a stick holder or hung in the greenhouse. Adults will get stuck on the adhesive, preventing them from mating, and laying eggs.

 

Tip #7: Spray plants with neem oil

Neem oil is a general pesticide that you can use to control leaf miner activity. The pesticide will kill the adult flies and larva. However, you need to apply the pesticide at the right time. If you spray the plants too early, the pesticide won’t be effective.

You have to apply the pesticide frequently, uniformly, and consistently to get results. Neem oil will disrupt the lifecycle of leaf miners and prevent them from becoming adults. However, you may also end up killing friendly fauna in the garden, so be careful.

 

 

Why Should Try to Grow Your Crops, Flowers, and Other Plants in a Greenhouse?

Growing plants in a greenhouse is one of the best things you can do for your plants. However, a lot of gardeners are still on the fence because they think that greenhouses are an expensive investment. While there are greenhouses with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, some are made of high-quality plastic that are sure to fit your budget.

Here are some of the reasons why you should try growing your plants in a greenhouse:

 

Protection from pests and larger animals

Aphids, cabbage worms, leaf miners, mealybugs, rodents, moles, deer, and other pests and animals would love a taste of your plants. They’ll munch on your leaves, flowers, and fruits, causing growth to stunt. Keeping your plants inside a greenhouse keeps them safe from these pests and animals. You can even add a screen or a trap to further protect your plants.

 

Keep your plants safe from bad weather

Bad weather, such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, high winds, and extreme heat can easily damage your plants. Growing your plants inside a greenhouse keeps them safe from the elements, allowing them to grow healthy and strong.

 

Temperature control

With a greenhouse, you’ll be able to control the temperature inside regardless of the weather outside. You can customize your greenhouse and include heating or cooling systems. In this way, you’ll be able to adjust the temperature based on what your plants need.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Leaf Miners

Although it’s important to know how to get rid of leaf miners quickly, you shouldn’t be aggressive with your approach. After all, it’s far wiser to put up barriers in your garden and release beneficial insects that can kill leaf miners.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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