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Horsetail (Equisetum) is an herb that’s found in a ton of natural beauty products, from conditioners to balms to styling products. This herb is wonderful for your skin, hair and nails, and the best part? You can easily add it in your own DIY beauty products. Grow horsetail yourself in your garden, or buy it from your local herb shop.

Fresh horsetail harvested from the garden.

So what’s so great about horsetail?

Tons of silica

Horsetail contains the most silica out of any known plant on Earth. Silica is a vital part of collagen, that stuff in your skin, bones, and cartilage. By using products that are rich in silica, you’ll notice stronger, healthier skin and hair. Horsetail helps repair damage and protect your cells from further stress.

Rich in minerals

This herb is also rich in minerals like potassium, selenium, and manganese. Your bones, skin, and hair all require high mineral levels to grow, so this is really helpful! The minerals promote hair growth, nail growth, skin regeneration, and skin/hair elasticity.

Powerful astringent

Horsetail is a natural antiseptic, which means it’s also an astringent – it helps reduce excessive oil and build-up. It’s excellent as a scalp treatment for oiliness, flakes, dandruff, or product build-up. On the face and skin, it’s lovely for treating eczema and other issues.

How to Use Horsetail

You can apply horsetail topically to see many of these benefits. Use it in shampoo, conditioner, masques, hair rinses, creams, balms, or soaks.

To make a simple hair rinse with horsetail, simply combine:

2-4 teaspoons of dried horsetail
1 cup of boiled water

Add the horsetail to a cup of hot, but not boiling water. Let it steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain the dried herb. Apply the rinse onto the hair and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and style.

You can also drink this hair rinse as a tea! Drink it 2-3 times per day with honey, and you’ll see the same benefits that you would if you applied it to your hair and skin directly.

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Must-Have Cut Flowers for Bouquets

While the farmer was once responsible for simply putting food on the table, many farmers are now finding themselves in a new role as floral artists, as the market for cut flowers continues to take deeper roots, grow taller, and bloom quickly. Cut flowers are one of the most profitable “crops” per square acre than nearly any other undertaking, luring even the most macho farmers into the business. Whether you are looking to take flowers to market or simply pluck your own centerpiece from your front yard, you’ll never cease to please when including these eye-catching blossoms in your arrangements.

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.)

Zinnias are by far one of the easiest flowers to grow, and the diversity of varieties amongst zinnias are beyond plentiful. Amongst the extensive list of varieties out there, you can find this flower in nearly any color with many varieties multi-colored. These focal flowers also come in an an assortment of shapes and sizes, all with long stems most suitable for bouquet-building. Zinnias thrive in heat and can often withstand drought conditions once established. Not only do they grow quickly and require little on the side of fertilizer or amendments, most zinnias serve as “cut-and-come again” flowers, meaning you’ll only have to plant once to harvest throughout the entire season.

Dahlias (Dahlia spp.)

Dahlias are one of the most sought-after flowers by florists as these stunning blooms are often featured in weddings and serve as a darling centerpiece for any bouquet. Dahlias come in different size varieties from the medium-sized 4 inch blooms, like the Cornel or Critchon Honey varieties, to the 8 to 10 inch dinner plate varieties. The diversity of colors amongst dahlias are unmatched amongst its cut flower friends, ranging from hues of soft whites, pinks, yellows, and oranges to shades of bright red to deep maroon.

Purchase dahlias as tubers and plant them horizontally 6-8 inches deep in a moist, but not saturated soil. The bud should be facing upwards. Be sure the ground temperatures have reached at least 60 degrees before planting, often late April or early May for most places. Wait to water until the dahlias sprout above the soil surface! Stake tall varieties when planting as to not disturb the delicate tubers later on.

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.)

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Sunflowers are iconic to those good summertime-feels, supplying bright color to a home garden or to a market bouquet. There are two main types of sunflowers that are actually quite different from one another. Single-stem varieties, such as the Sunrich or the ProCut series, will produce one flower for each planted seed. Single-stemmed sunflowers have long, sturdy stems and come to bloom quickly, often about 60 days. Spacing between single-stemmed varieties will determine the bloom size; the more room for each plant, the larger the bloom.

Single-stemmed varieties are pollenless, prized for their durability in bouquets. For a steady flow of flowers throughout the season, you will need to succession plant these sunflowers about every two weeks. Branching varieties, on the other hand, will bloom multiple times throughout the season from a single plant. The stems are shorter, and each plant will need a considerable amount of space, blooming typically around 90 days. Branching varieties can make a great addition to a home garden for an endless supply of blooms throughout the summer. Whether you choose to grow single-stemmed or branching sunflowers, these resilient flowers will last up to 10 days in a vase.


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