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How to Plant Kale in a Greenhouse in Indiana

Want to know how to plant kale in a greenhouse in Indiana? Kale is a cold-loving plant that’s best grown in cooler areas like Indiana. The cool weather plays a part in growing healthy and delicious kale as it brings out the nutty flavor and the sweetness of your leafy greens.

How to Plant Kale in a Greenhouse in Indiana

The Best Time to Plant Kale in Indiana

The key to growing delicious fruits and vegetables is knowing the best time to plant them. Taking note of the first and last frost dates will let you know when to start planting your kale. Indiana is located in the 5 and 6 USDA plant hardiness zone. Here’s the best time to plant kale in Indiana:

 

Zone 5

Start kale seeds indoors in early April and harvest by the end of June; OR start kale seeds mid-July and harvest by the end of October.

 

Zone 6

Start kale seeds indoors mid-March and harvest by mid-June; OR start kale seeds indoors early August and harvest by mid-November.

 

How to Plant Kale in Indiana

Planting kale in Indiana doesn’t have to be difficult. To give you a clear snapshot of how to do it, check out this guide:

Sowing kale seeds or setting plants

Sow the seeds half an inch into light, airy, well-drained soil. Once it grows into seedlings (usually after two weeks), thin the seedlings so your plants are at least eight inches apart.

If you’re starting with plants, as most people do, plant them into your garden at the depth similar to how they’re growing in their pots. Space them at least 18 inches apart. After planting your seeds or plants, make sure to water them well.

 

Growing kale

Water and feed your kale plants regularly with continuous-release plant food. If it doesn’t rain much in your area, provide an inch or an inch and a half of water per week.

Keep in mind that kale won’t grow well in hot weather, so make sure to mulch the soil. Mulching also helps in preventing weeds from forming. After the first hard freeze, don’t forget to mulch the soil again. Your kale plants may continue to produce leaves even after winter.

 

Harvesting kale

Kale will be ready for harvesting if the leaves are as big as the size of your hand. Pick a handful of kale leaves per harvest and start by getting the oldest leaves located at the lowest part of the plant. Throw away torn and yellowed leaves.

Don’t pick the terminal bud located at the top center of your kale plant because this part keeps your kale productive. Kale plants continue to grow even when temperatures drop to 20 degrees F, and it’ll taste sweeter if hit by frost. If you want to extend your growing season or harvest, protect your plants from the cold by placing them inside a mini greenhouse.

 

Storing kale

Storing kale is similar to storing other leafy greens. You can place kale in a produce bag (but don’t stuff them inside!) and store in in the fridge. Consume within a week before it starts to wilt.

 

Reasons Why It’s Best to Grow Kale in a Mini Greenhouse

If you’re initially planning to plant your kale directly in your garden, think again. Since you can control the temperature inside a greenhouse, growing kale in a mini greenhouse lets you enjoy kale throughout the year, even if the weather is hot outside!

Aside from that, here are other reasons why you should grow kale in a greenhouse:

 

Protect your plants from harmful pests

Cabbageworms, cabbage aphids, flea beetles, rodents, raccoons, and other insects and animals love to eat your kale. Keeping them inside a greenhouse protects them from these annoying critters. It also shields them from any infectious diseases from neighboring plants.

 

Keep them safe from unpredictable weather conditions

Excessive heat, heavy rains, storms, and strong winds can easily damage your plants. Placing them inside a greenhouse makes it easier to grow kale and other vegetables in unpredictable weather conditions, like Indiana. Indiana residents experience severe fluctuations in temperature, along with random arrival of rain and other weather conditions, so having a greenhouse comes in handy.

 

Perfect for gardeners with limited space

Kale needs space to grow, so if you don’t have enough space, you can consider getting a mini greenhouse. The standard size of a “small” greenhouse is around 6 feet, but there are smaller alternatives as well. You can place a mini greenhouse on balconies, patios, decks, and even on tabletops. Even if it’s smaller in size, you’ll enjoy the same benefits as a regular-sized greenhouse.

 

Ideal for beginners in greenhouse technology

Mini greenhouses are an ideal solution for gardeners who want to learn more about greenhouse gardening. Investing in a larger, more permanent greenhouse is expensive. It’s best to learn how a greenhouse works and how well plants thrive inside before upgrading to a large greenhouse. A mini greenhouse allows you to do all that without at a cheaper price.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Plant Kale in a Greenhouse in Indiana

Now that you know how to plant kale in a greenhouse in Indiana, the next thing you need to do is to get started. Growing kale is easier in a mini greenhouse, so make sure to consider getting one for your gardening needs.

 

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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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