Growing Echinacea & Cultivars                Echinacea in Tinctures              Pest and Disease               

We grow Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia in a fenced area of raised beds. The soil we started with was a clay basin, with no previous farming, other than cattle. We fenced the area because deer will eat Echinacea and some of the other herbs we grow there.
We hired a friend who “ripped” down into the clay to break its hard surface. Next came amending the clay to loosen it up and increase drainage.

First, we contracted Collier Materials in Marble Falls to deliver 3 trucks with 12 tons of granite sand each. Next, we spread the sand along with a neighbor’s horse manure across the clay soil. Then we used  the Troy-bilt pony tiller to mix the materials in a 12 inch mixture. We used a mantis tiller to pull rows into 18 inch X 36 inch rows to plant the Echinacea.

Our plants are cultivated by seed germination in beds near our house. We also plant  “pups” harvested in the fall. These are small plants that grow at the base of the “mother” plant. The plants are placed in the row by their age and their species. We mulch with composted grass, leaves garden clippings etc.  We amend the rows with Neem Cake and cornmeal.
A few other herbs have migrated into this area such as Calendula, peppers, gourds, and lavender. Several rows are planted in a summer/winter cover crop. This year’s cover crop will be buckwheat.

Our rows are 50 foot average and watered with two rows of drip tape. Our supplier Submatic has various thickness of ½ inch drip tape with emitters every 12 inches. With over 40 rows, we have isolated three zones for watering. Zone three has rows and thornless blackberries (Arapaho and Navajo), while zone two waters rows and the island in the center of the garden.

The watering system is detailed on the farming off the grid section.