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A Guide on How to Harvest Echinacea

Echinacea (also called as the coneflower) is a perfect addition to your garden. If you’re wondering how to harvest Echinacea, this article outlines the ins and outs of successfully planting and harvesting coneflowers.

A Guide on How to Harvest Echinacea

Sowing or Transplanting

You can either transplant Echinacea or sow them directly to the garden bed. If you prefer to start from seeds, you can initially grow them indoors for six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area, or you can sow them into the ground during fall or winter. However, remember that it may take two years to see your plants bloom.

Fortunately, you can find Echinacea in almost any local garden store. It’s cheaper compared to other types of garden flowers, but it’s just as beautiful.

 

Transplanting and Germination

Most coneflower seeds may need cold stratification for about a month to successfully produce flowers. Cold stratification is the process of placing your seeds in cold conditions to encourage germination.

However, Echinacea often takes a while to germinate, so you can’t expect results overnight. Your seeds will start to sprout in about 20 days.

Sow your seeds at an inch deep with a soil temperature of around 68 degrees F and make sure the soil is moist but not wet. Once the seedlings are three inches tall, thin them down and harden them before transplanting into your garden, only transfer your plants when the last frost has passed, and the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees F.

 

Sun and Soil Needs

Echinacea thrives best in neutral pH soil (6.0 to 7.0). You can also add fresh compost right before you sow the seeds. Coneflowers are very easy to grow. In fact, they can even survive in dry, rocky soil. But as with other types of plants, Echinacea grows best in well-drained and fertile soil.

 

Caring for Echinacea

Even though Echinacea is low-maintenance, this garden flower still needs a bit of TLC. Here’s what you should know about taking care of coneflowers:

 

Temperature

These plants can grow even in extreme heat. However, if you live in places with really hot summers, it’s better to plant your Echinacea in partially shaded areas.

 

Pruning

If some of your flowers are drooping and watering doesn’t do the trick, it may be best to prune limp and dead flowers. In this way, more flowers will bloom, and you’ll avoid the aggressive spreading of wilting or any diseases.

 

Watering

Coneflowers are one of a handful of garden plants that can tolerate drought. But for the best results, they still need to be watered regularly. If you live in rainy areas, you might not need to water Echinacea as much as you should during hot, dry summer seasons.

 

Fertilizing

Placing compost around the base of your coneflowers encourages healthy plant growth. You can add fertilizer around your plants at least twice during the first growing season.

 

Harvesting Echinacea

The best way to harvest Echinacea flowers for decorating is by cutting stems. As you frequently cut and harvest, your plants will bloom all season.

If you’re planning to use it for tea, harvest the growing leaves by cutting a handful from each plant. You can make tea using fresh leaves, or you can dry them and store them in your pantry.

If you want to harvest the roots, you can gently dig around the drip line of your coneflower and carefully take the plant out of the soil. Cut the roots free – you can take a portion of the roots and place the plant back into the ground.

 

Why Grow Echinacea in a Greenhouse?

While Echinacea is lovely to look at in any outdoor garden, there are several reasons why you should plant them inside a greenhouse, such as:

 

Protect your flowers from pests and diseases

Leaf miners, Japanese beetles, vine weevils, aphids, eriophyid mites, and sweet potato whiteflies are some of the harmful pests that can damage your Echinacea plants. These pests can also bring diseases like powdery mildew, gray mold, aster yellows, stem rot, and bacterial spots. Keeping your plants inside a sealed yet well-ventilated greenhouse keeps them safe from pests and diseases.

 

Keep your coneflowers safe from inclement weather

Storms, hail, and blizzards can wipe out your garden in an instant. By placing them inside a greenhouse, it’ll be easier for gardeners like you to grow plants under unpredictable climates.

 

Great for people without garden space

If you want to grow fresh produce or flowers like Echinacea, but you have limited space, a mini greenhouse is a great alternative. Thanks to its compact size, you can place a mini greenhouse on balconies, patios, decks, and sometimes even on tabletops.

 

Start planting earlier than usual

With a mini greenhouse, you can start planting coneflowers even before the cold season begins. As soon as the danger of frost has passed, you can plant your Echinacea into your garden.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Echinacea

Once you know how to harvest Echinacea, you’ll be able to grow them in your backyard or mini greenhouse. Echinacea has medicinal properties, you can use the leaves to make tea, and you can use fresh flowers to decorate your home. With the benefits and uses that come with coneflowers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t plant them.

 

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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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