How To Keep Ornamental Grasses From Falling Over

If you’re interested to know how to keep ornamental grasses from falling over, staking and division are the methods you have to master. It can be frustrating to see your ornamental grasses tipping and looking disorderly, so maintaining them is crucial. More than separating overgrown grasses, you can use a stake to support the plants and keep an aesthetically-pleasing arrangement. 

You don’t have to cut your ornamental grasses or be limited with shorter types if you hate seeing them fall over. However, don’t forget to study the species’ growth habits to allow you to plan their arrangement in the long run. You can also consider growing grasses in the greenhouse as it may be easier to maintain them indoors. 

 

How To Keep Ornamental Grasses From Falling Over

How To Keep Ornamental Grasses From Falling Over And Bonus Tips For Successful Ornamental Grasses Parenting

 

Staking

The first solution to prevent your ornamental grasses from falling over is by staking them. According to the University of Vermont Extension, the main takeaway that you should remember here is your plants’ growing habit. Therefore, the best staking technique for ornamental grasses would be to place them at the center of the grass clump and secure points with twine. 

This way, you can just tie a piece of twine around the grasses to keep them standing vertically. However, remember to tie it, so it doesn’t hinder the movement of the grasses. The best time to stake will also be before the season when the grasses turn brown and dormant. 

Some other vital pointers to remember when staking ornamental grasses is that you want the stakes and twines to blend with the plants. Around three stakes should suffice, but this will depend on how large your clumps are. You want to place them where the thickest stems are and where they start arching. 

 

Division

Another method for keeping your ornamental grasses from falling over is by dividing them. Remember that this technique is useful for propagation, but it will also help you control the clumps’ size after several years. You can do this practice every two years as part of your management of ornamental grasses. 

The process itself is as easy as cutting the foliage to 6 inches and digging out the entire clump. You can use an ax to cut it into four sections and remove all the dead parts. Then, replant and water these divisions immediately to prevent them from drying. 

If your area experiences an extended growing season, you might also benefit from midseason trimming. This will prevent overgrown clumps, and you can just clip off the smaller lower blades surrounding the plant. However, some grasses might still benefit from staking, so choose your method wisely to keep them upright. 

 

Why Do Ornamental Grasses Fall Over?

It would be best also to understand why ornamental grasses usually fall over. Many practices can influence the upright structure of the plants, and avoiding these problems can keep the plants vertical and tall. For example, the location itself can affect the structure of your grasses. 

If your area experiences harsh wind and rain, it’s highly likely for the grasses to fall over. Consider growing them in the greenhouse to shelter the grasses against these environmental conditions. Ornamental grasses can also become dry by the end of the growing season, and the remaining old clumps at the center can die, which affects the other upright grasses. 

Therefore, it’s best to start staking while the grasses are still green. Speaking of the grasses being dry, practices like overfertilizing can lead to spindly grasses that will fall off easily. You want to fertilize only in the spring after the blades are starting to sprout. 

 

Maintaining Ornamental Grasses

Besides division, cutting back ornamental grasses should be a part of your maintenance practice. However, you want to classify your grasses first into warm-season and cold-season grasses. You can cut back the former by the middle of spring, while cool-season grasses respond well to cutting back early in spring. 

As the weather gets colder, warm-season grasses will turn brown, and you can start trimming them at this point. On the other hand, you want to leave the cool-season grasses during the cold season and then cut them back once the season ends. Depending on how demanding your grasses are, you can either use pruning shears or hedge trimmers when trimming the grasses per bundle.

You can then fertilize when new growth starts in spring, but keep the nitrogen levels low to prevent them from falling over. Then, help the plants establish themselves by watering during the first season after you planted the grasses. The supplemental watering will then depend on the requirements of your species. 

 

Conclusion

Do you want to grow ornamental grasses? If so, you have to learn how to keep ornamental grasses from falling over. Unfortunately, it’s common for these grasses to have problems staying upright due to different factors.

It could be from severe environmental challenges, overfertilizing, or overgrown clumps. You can keep the grasses vertically by placing stakes and using twine pieces to keep them from falling over. You can also divide the clumps every two years to prevent the clumps from getting too big. 

Overall, you don’t have to worry about keeping your grasses upright. Proper maintenance should help you prevent them from falling over. If your area experiences intense rains and winds, consider growing the grasses in the greenhouse. 

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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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