|Posted on April 20, 2017 at 7:50 PM|
When to harvest is always a good question. With roots Spring or Fall when the energy is in the Roots is recommended. The fall back is: "when you are able". Sometimes you can't wait for the ideal time. With that being said I harvested these Echinacea roots in this Spring in April.
Echinacea is one of those plants that produces new growth. Spring is the time of year that I can easily see the new growth from the old growth and divide them.
I dug up two plants that were just starting to come up this spring. You can see in the picture above it was just starting to sprout so most energy is still in roots. I knew each plant was about 3 years old which is said to be the ideal age to harvest the roots of Echinacea.
There was a lot of new growth mixed in so I was able to divide the new growth from the older roots to get more plants. Easier than starting from seeds and why buy more. Keeping the small roots attached I removed the new buds from the older/larger roots.
Older Larger Roots set aside to make medicine
After separating the older roots from the plants I separated the the plants into 2 categories by lengthen/width of roots. Larger roots I put in my 2nd year growth pile and smaller new roots my 1st year growth pile. Now do I know for sure that it's 1st year and 2nd year? NO. This is pure guessing. Educated guessing though.
What I do know is that the largest ones will go into my 1st tier of my Tier Garden to be harvested next year if they seem large enough and the smallest ones will go into 2nd tier to be harvested the year after and the ones I did order online as plugs (started by seed earlier in year) will go in the 3rd tier. This system will keep me on track for furture years.
2nd Year Growth
1st Year Growth
When this was all over I lost count of how many new plants I had. I took the 5 largest and replanted in the areas I took from. I still had about a dozen of the the 2nd year growth to plant in the 1st row of the Tier Garden. I took the ones with the smallest barely there roots and planted them in a tray with 32 slots. Filling all the slots. The rest of the smallest "1st year" plants gave me almost 2 dozen to plant in the Tier Garden and another dozen to plant for "decoration" in another area. Not bad. Next year I will continue process and I will not have to order any plugs. Money saver :).
I hope you found this helpful. If you have to harvest in fall, harvest in the fall.