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How To Remove Aphids From Kale: 4 Useful Tips

Whether you call them whiteflies or greenfly, you should know how to remove aphids from kale before they destroy the entire plant.

Kale is a superfood packed with nutrients and vitamins, but it’s also attractive to aphids. They feed on the juice of kale leaves, leaving the plant yellowed, misshapen, and stunted. However, you don’t need to worry because they are easy to remove.

 

How to Identify Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied insects that can weaken plants. Since they multiply quickly, you should get rid of them as soon as possible. After all, many generations of aphids can occur in a single season.

 

Appearance

Aphids have a pear-shaped body and long antennae. They come in various colors, such as light green, white, gray, black, yellow, and pink. Some aphids have a wooly or waxy coating. They can feed in small numbers or large groups.

Aphids usually feed on various plants, but some species are specific to a particular plant. There are green aphids, cabbage aphids, and turnip aphids. Adults are usually wingless, but they can grow wings when the infested plant becomes too crowded.

Aphids can reproduce through parthenogenesis, where females give birth to a live female nymph. This can happen during summer and spring when there’s a large supply of food. Large populations of aphids can be accommodated without any problem.

 

What Aphid Damage Looks Like

Aphids produce a sugary substance called honeydew. So if you see a sugary liquid on your kale plants, it’s a sign of aphid infestation. It can also encourage mold growth, which can create black spots on the leaves of the plant.

The black spots will prevent the leaves from absorbing sunlight and cause the plant to eventually die. Yellowed, stunted, misshapen, or curling leaves are common signs of aphid infestation as well. Aphids can also cause galls to develop on leaves or roots.

The honeydew can attract ants and other insects because it’s high in sugar. The ants gather the honeydew secretions for food. So, if you notice an increase in bugs or ant population in your garden, then it could be a sign of aphid infestation.

 

How to Remove Aphids from Kale

Spray kale plants with a strong gust of water from a regular garden hose. This method is particularly useful for mild aphid activity or eliminating soft-bodied aphids. Don’t forget to inspect the bottom and top of the leaves after spraying.

If this method doesn’t work, you can try the following tips instead:

 

Tip #1: Water and non-toxic dish soap

Mix a few drops of dish soap with water, and spray kale plants with the solution. The bitter residue will suffocate the aphids and repel other bugs. It will make the leaves taste bad for the aphids and prevent them from coming back.

 

Tip #2: Tomato leaf spray

Soak tomato leaves in water for one day. Remove the tomato leaves, and then transfer the leaf juice into a spray bottle. Spray the kale with the leaf juice. Tomato leaves have toxic alkaloids that are harmful to kale aphids.

 

Tip #3: Natural predators

One ladybug can eat fifty aphids daily. Ladybugs prey on aphids, so you should build an environment that they will move into naturally. Since they feed on pollen as well, you should plant crops and flowers that are attractive to ladybugs, such as daisy, marigold, dandelions, and cosmos.

Caraway, dill, chives, carrots, fennel, yarrow, feverfew, and mint are also attractive to ladybugs. Garlic sprays are harmful to ladybugs, so avoid spraying kale with them.

 

Tip #4: Grow kale indoors

You can grow kale indoors to avoid aphid infestations altogether. Kale needs about four hours of sun every day or if this isn’t possible, you can use grow lights.

 

Why Should You Grow Your Kale Plants in a Greenhouse?

One of the most effective ways to prevent an aphid infestation is to grow your plants in a greenhouse. Other than that, here are a few more reasons why you should try greenhouse gardening:

 

Prevent pests from attacking your plants

As mentioned, greenhouses are extremely beneficial in preventing pests and larger animals from attacking your plants. You even further protect your plants by adding screens and traps for insects and animals. If you do get pest infestations inside your greenhouse, it’ll be easier for you to get rid of these pests.

 

Control over the growing environment of your plants

One of the primary benefits of greenhouses is that you can control the indoor growing environment, allowing you to grow different types of plants regardless of the weather. You can customize your greenhouse using heating and cooling systems, grow lights, fans, irrigation systems, and other equipment to suit the needs of your plants. As long as you understand the ideal growing conditions of your plants, you can adjust your greenhouse accordingly.

 

Protect your plants from bad weather conditions

A greenhouse shields your plants from bad weather conditions that could easily damage even the hardiest plants. You’ll be able to keep your plants safe from high winds, heavy rain, storms, flood, and more.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Remove Aphids from Kale

Hopefully, the tips stated here gave you some ideas on how to remove aphids from kale. Weeds also harbor pests, so you should keep your garden weed-free to prevent infestations.

 

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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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