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How to Grow Mache: Everything You Need to Know

Want to know how to grow Mache? It doesn’t matter if you call it lamb’s lettuce or if you prefer to refer to it as corn salad – Mache thrives pretty well in areas where the weather is mostly mild and cool.

Although this can be planted at any time, you need to remember that unless the soil temperature ranges between 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, you can’t expect it to grow as it should. When the soil temperature exceeds the maximum degrees 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the seed will go dormant.

 

How to Grow Mache: Everything You Need to Know

4 Things Mache Plants Need Before Planting

There are four factors that significantly contribute to the growth of your plants:

 

Cool air

You can’t expect Mache to grow in areas where the weather conditions aren’t cool or mild. Unless the temperature ranges between 55˚F and 68˚F, the seed won’t be able to grow and put out shoots. For this reason, it’s best to plant Mache seeds during springtime or in the fall.

 

Light Shade

Gardeners can plant in a partially shaded spot that doesn’t get afternoon sun. Long and direct exposure to sunlight can cause your Mache seeds to go dormant.

 

Moist Soil

Keep the soil moist until the Mache seeds germinate within 14 to 28 days. Water your plants regularly thereafter. Make sure they’re moist at all times but not soggy. And add a layer of mulch around your Mache plants.

 

Snail Protection

Did you know that snails, as well as slugs, wouldn’t say no to a feast of Mache leaves? One of the best ways to keep these creatures at bay is to use bait. Additionally, consider using copper hands to encircle raised beds where you can grow your Mache in.

If you live in a region where the temperature is mostly warm, you have the option to use gravel mulch. All you have to do is to spread it over the bed before you sow the Mache seeds over it. Some of them may fall right through the cracks that’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you see plants popping up through the stones over time.

 

 

How to Grow Mache Plants

Here are four steps on how you can successfully grow Mache plants in your backyard or greenhouse:

 

Sowing

Mache should be grown in cool areas as the seeds germinate best in temperatures between 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures may deter germination. In an approximately ¼ – ½ inches deep, sow the seeds carefully. Germination should occur in about one to two weeks after sowing.

 

Spacing

Space seeds one foot apart if direct seeding, and about three to six feet between growing plants. Mache will grow fine in almost any type of soil, but for best results, the growing medium should be rich in compost and other organic materials.

 

Maintaining

Plants will complete their growth in 40 to 70 days, depending on growing conditions. When your corn salad plants mature, they’ll form into a rosette of dark green leaves. Prune the plants as they grow so that they focus their energy on producing more leaves.

 

Water and fertilizer

Water your Mache plants moderately and fertilize with an all-purpose blend if needed. You can grow Mache plants under full sun or partially shaded areas. However, keep in mind that corn salads thrive best under cold weather, so they are sensitive to hotter temperatures.

 

How to Harvest Mache Plants

You can harvest your corn salad after three months after sowing your Mache seeds. The leaf rosettes should be well-formed by then. Here’s how you can harvest your corn salad plants:

 

Tip #1: Do NOT pull the roots of the plants.

This is one of the most common mistakes new gardeners usually make. You only need to snip the leaves off the stem. Your plants will continue to grow if you leave the roots in.

 

Tip #2: Harvest at the right time

Harvest everything before the corn salad goes back to seed.

 

Tip #3: Watch for dark green leaves that feel like velvet

You’ll know when your Mache plants are ready for harvest because the leaves will feel velvety and have a dark green color.

 

Facts About Mache Plants

Mache can be planted in cool weather or winter, however, if freezing rain, windy or heavy winds occur, it’s best to use a greenhouse.

If you’re looking for a rich source of beta-carotene, you can’t go wrong with Mache. In case you’re not aware, beta-carotene happens to be an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A once it is consumed. For this reason, incorporating Mache into your regular diet is a great idea if you want your immune system and your body’s ability to metabolize iron to run on all cylinders.

Mache or Valerianella locusta falls under the Valerianella family called Caprifoliaceae. Corn salad vegetables are native to the cold temperature zones in Europe, but over the past years, Mache plants can now be cultivated all over the world for domestic and commercial purposes.

 

The Benefits of Growing Mache Plants in a Greenhouse

There are several reasons why you should try growing your Mache plants in a mini greenhouse.

For one, mini greenhouses can protect your corn salad plants from pests and diseases. Mache plants are prone to Alternaria leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, damping off, clubroot, and downy mildew. They’re also prone to certain pests, such as aphids, slugs, snails, leafminers, flea beetles, and cabbage loopers. Keeping your plants inside a mini greenhouse lowers the risk of pest infestation and disease infections from neighboring plants.

A mini greenhouse also protects your plants from extreme weather conditions. The enclosed space can shield your plants from frost, ice, heavy rains, and overall bad weather.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Grow Mache Plants

Corn salad contains a lot of water and omega 3, making them a great addition to salads and meals. Learning how to grow Mache plants is easy since they don’t require much attention throughout its growing season, except for regular watering that almost all plants need.

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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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