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How To Sterilize Perlite. Best 5 Methods

If you want to know how to sterilize perlite, there are 5 methods to choose from. Learning the proper sterilization of perlite is crucial because this filler is what you use to your medium to improve its aeration and drainage. You will find that most potting media and hydroponic systems utilize perlite, but the perlite you use must be sterile. 

When growing plants, cleanliness is essential to prevent potential problems. Those who use a greenhouse can easily maintain this indoors, but anything you bring can potentially harbor organisms and fungal spores. Therefore, sterilizing perlite and supporting the ideal environment in the greenhouse should help you grow plants without worries. 

 

How To Sterilize Perlite. Best 5 Methods

How To Sterilize Perlite Safely

 

Method #1. Washing

The first sterilizing perlite method is straightforward, but in general, you can consider it as the first step of sterilization. Regardless, if you feel that your perlite is already clean, consider rinsing it first to ensure that it is free of dirt and filth. Washing perlite is even quick and easy, so you have no excuse not to do it and remove built-up and debris. 

To wash perlite, place it in a pan and spread evenly. You can do this under a faucet and let the water run over them. Flip the perlite to get the other side to remove the dirt all the way through, and you’re done. 

 

Method #2. Hydrogen peroxide

The second method of sterilizing perlite is a proper sterilization technique, and it is by using hydrogen peroxide. According to experienced growers, the best solution to use is 3% hydrogen peroxide. However, it’s crucial to emphasize diluting it first at one tablespoon per quart of water ratio.

Diluting hydrogen peroxide for sterilizing perlite is crucial because you don’t want to damage the plants that you’ll grow in the perlite. Therefore, you have to make a fresh batch of diluted hydrogen peroxide each time you’re sterilizing perlite to prevent it from evaporating and altering the solution’s components. To use, only water perlite with the solution and spray beforehand if necessary. 

This hydrogen peroxide solution is also useful for solving fungal growth when sowing seeds. While you can use it for sterilizing perlite, you can continue to water the medium once a week with the solution after sowing. Therefore, hydrogen peroxide is useful not just before planting but also after sowing. 

 

Method #3. Bleach

The third sterilization method for perlite is using chemicals, and the most popular one is bleach. However, you may want to practice caution because this is only recommended for pure perlite. The method itself is straightforward and as simple as the first two methods. 

You want to dilute the bleach by mixing nine parts of water and one part of bleach. Leave this solution for 20 minutes before soaking the perlite in. Afterward, you can use this solution to wash the perlite before using it as a medium. 

 

Method #4. Steam

The fourth and fifth method of perlite sterilization requires additional equipment. However, they are easy to find at home anyway. First, you can use a boiler to steam perlite, and this should destroy the contaminants. 

A temperature of 212°F at a pressure of 5 to 15 psi would be excellent for sterilizing perlite, but you can also use other steaming methods. You want to let the water boil and let the steam do the work for you. The temperature can also vary, so adjust accordingly to your boiler or method. 

 

Method #5. Oven

The final sterilization method that you can consider is by putting the perlite in the oven. Much like with steaming, the heat from the oven should kill the contaminants in the perlite. To do this method, preheat the oven to around 200°F.

Then, dampen the perlite first and place it in an oven pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for half an hour, letting the temperature reach 250°F. Take out the pan and let the perlite cool. 

 

How To Use Perlite

There are many ways to use perlite, but the most common one is improving the aeration and drainage of your gardening medium. You can also improve your ground’s quality by adding loose perlite over the surface, which should help with water retention. Lastly, those who propagate plants from cuttings can use moistened perlite and a plastic bag to encourage rooting. 

There are also different types of perlite, so you should research what you want to achieve and use the proper perlite for it. The styles include coarse, fine, and medium-grade that each differs in uses. Coarse perlite is useful for aeration and water tension, fine perlite is excellent for flowerbeds, and medium-grade perlite is suitable for potting seedlings.

 

Conclusion

As a gardener, you need to learn how to make your own medium, including familiarizing yourself with materials to use. Therefore, you also need to know how to sterilize perlite to guarantee that you’re not introducing organisms to your plants. Start by rinsing your perlite and choose from hydrogen peroxide, bleach, steam, and oven to sterilize it. 

All these methods are quick and straightforward, which is why you shouldn’t overlook this perlite preparation. However, be sure that you will dilute the solution first when you’re using hydrogen peroxide or bleach. This would save you the risk of damaging the plants after using the medium. 

 

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How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

Want to know how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds? Marigold flowers are a mainstay in most of the gardens. They bloom beautiful flowers all season long and they’re easy to grow from seed. Knowing how to save marigold seeds is essential if you want to continue growing them the next season.

Fortunately, harvesting marigold seeds are quite quick and easy. You only need to take the seeds from the flowers and let them air dry before storing them during the winter season. You can pack it up with a container or seed packets to save even more for the next growing season. Some of the marigold flowers are edible and best to mix in your salads to add a distinct flavor to it.

 

Tools You’ll Need to Harvest Marigold Flowers

The tools you’ll need to harvest marigold flowers include a basket or other available containers that can be used in harvesting flowers. You’ll also need some paper towels, a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, or gardening shears.

Since you need to evaluate or describe the process, get yourself some notes. Seed packets can be envelopes or closed-air containers excluding plastic containers and bags.

 

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Here’s how you can harvest marigold plants for flower arrangements and bouquets:

 

Letting Marigold Flowers Dry

It’s important to wait until the right time to collect marigold seeds. You can harvest the seeds when the petals are dry already (when the base of each flower turning brownish). However, make sure there’s still is a bit of green color left in the base of the bloom. If you also wait until it is completely turned brown, it may start to rot or mold. It’s important to wait for the perfect time to harvest marigolds since the timing is crucial to have the right quality of marigold seeds.

Tip in harvesting: While you are harvesting, simply cut each marigold flower heads using your cutting equipment or either pinch it with your finger. However, be sure not to pull the flowers as it can harm the roots of your marigolds.

 

Opening the Marigold

Get your paper towel and set it on a flat surface. After, hold each bloom’s base, pull-off, and discard the petals and leaves of it. Then, you will easily notice the attached seeds inside the base. In the meantime, set the prepared blooms on your paper towels for bulk removal of seeds. You may also use larger towels to manage and accommodate the abundant blooms of your marigolds.

 

Removal of Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are likely to have a long, slender, and pointed appearance. Divided ends with black color and white color on the opposite edge. Gather your blooms, pull-off all petals, and leaves, and start pulling the seeds from the base. After getting all marigold seeds, discard the base in a single place like in bins or garbage bags. After sorting, put another paper towel on another flat surface and spread the pulled marigold seeds on it.

 

Drying of Seeds

As mentioned above, let your marigold seeds air dry for about a week in an uncovered paper towel. It will enable them to be preserved even in frost season and will prevent it from getting rot and mold.

 

Seed Storing

After drying the seeds, gather them and start placing them inside your seed packets to prolong their lifespan and will still be used after the frost date. Do not use plastic bags in storing your marigold seeds because it will retain residual moisture, which will affect your marigold seeds and even get rot and mold. To avoid forgetting about your marigold seeds, put a label on it to prevent possible disposal if unlabeled.

 

Using Stored Seeds for Replanting

After storing your collected marigold seeds, it is perfect to plant during the growing season. You can enjoy once again the benefits of it from house beautification to an edible ingredient for your salad.

 

Facts about Marigold Flowers

Marigolds are especially good for repelling insects and pests, making them companion plant for tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, and chili pepper because of its pungent scent of some variety. It is amazing having this kind of flow in your plant, imagine you don’t only have a beautiful attractive garden but having also a very natural insect and pest repellent that will protect your plants from any abrogation.

African marigolds have larger flower heads on plants that grow from 10 to 36 inches tall. While French marigolds are smaller and bushier, having only two inches of flower head across on plants and only having six to eighteen inches height. Sizes and colors vary on its classification, having a mixed combination is pretty great, will also add more pleasant and abundant color to your garden.

 

The Benefits of Growing Marigolds in a Greenhouse

Have you ever thought of growing your marigolds in a greenhouse? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider getting a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for keeping your marigolds safe from pests and diseases. Marigolds are susceptible to insects and blight, such as caterpillars, aphids, leaf spots, and mildews. You can lower the risk of plant damage by growing your marigolds in a greenhouse.

Additionally, greenhouses can also keep your plants safe from bad weather that could easily damage your flowers.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Knowing how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds is crucial if you’re planning to plant them in your garden. These beautiful flowers that usually come in yellow and orange colors are a great addition to any garden or flower arrangement.

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