Posts Tagged ‘Semi-Hardwood Cuttings’
August 17th, 2010
I have been having heaps of fun over the last few months experimenting with cuttings. You don’t really need money to enjoy gardening. My cuttings have provided me with plants for free. Of course, visiting a nursery and buying plants there is fun too, but gardens do not have to be bought. They can be collected, with love and happiness, just as our mothers and their mothers did, way back in a chain that goes back thousands of years. In fact, even today, friendships are made through garden clubs and chats over fences where cuttings are exchanged. It is a great way to meet neighbours!
Garden plants need not cost a lot or even anything at all if you grow it yourself. Start with a cutting or a seed and you have got a plant for nothing! I have a tiny nursery outside the back door. It is the place where I stick cuttings and seeds into pots, it is not tidy and neat but it is a place where I experiment and have fun. One of the best things about cuttings and seeds is that you can afford to experiment – if it drops dead it doesn’t really matter, you haven’t lost anything, but when it grows, it makes you feel really excited. I am always amazed and excited when the seeds I plant begin to shoot up.
If you use non hybrid seed then you can save the seed from the plants you grow to use again the next season. This is real old fashioned gardening at its best.
August 5th, 2010
Remember that layer bulb pot I did way back in March? Well, the little gems have all popped up and are doing their very best to brighten up dull winter days with their cheerful little yellow flowers! Don’t you just love it when things work out? Bulbs can be like that. Plant and forget, then enjoy the surprise when they do their thing. Spring really is on its way!
The hydrangea cuttings I popped into a pot when I was cutting back my hydrangeas have all got leaves on them too. So, plants for nothing!!! Very pleased with that, if I do say so myself! And I do!
Another surprise waited down in the back corner of the garden, the old potato pot. The story here is that while cleaning out my pantry I came across an old potato beginning to sprout. It was trying so very hard I thought I would give it a hand and so put it into a big black pot and covered it with some old compost. I have done this little trick before and it is always worth giving it a go.
As the plant grows you just cover the poor little thing with soil or compost or hay until you get to the top of the pot. The potato plant gets into the game by pushing up leaves and putting out roots into the new soil all the way to the top of the pot. Then you have a potato plant to enjoy, and really they are pretty just like that. But there is more. Not at this stage but soon….The potato flowers in spring, spreading roots all the while then dies, and you are left with a pot of potatoes! As well as the potatoes you get some super improved soil to use in the vege plot. Talking of which, my broad beans have started getting flowers. Very exciting!
February 17th, 2010
I am absolutely amazed at the capacity for plants to regenerate from all sorts of bits and pieces – leaves, roots, stems and of course, seeds – aren’t plants clever? Propagation by seed is one of the most popular ways of creating new plants and it is heaps of fun!
Another easy method to make new plants is division, this method is suitable for clumping perennials like clivias, agapanthus and bearded iris. It is done when flowering is finished and the plant is entering a growth cycle. Cut back the green leafy material above the ground and dig out the clump with a large fork. Then, divide the clump into several pieces, using a sharp, strong knife. Replant the clumps and water in. – Plants for free!!
You can also take tip cuttings, this is the best method for a wide range of woody plants, including camelias, azaelias, fuchia etc. Cuttings are ideally taken in mid to late summer, now in fact. I use what I prune, pretty much whenever I prune and am in the mood to create. Cuttings should be 10 to 15 cm long with three or four sets of ‘eyes’. Remove half of the lower leaves and dip the end in a rooting hormone powder to assist the strike rate. If you don’t have any rooting hormone powder you can try honey, it works well. Make a little hole in your propagating mix with a chop stick, then pop in your cutting. Water and make sure to keep it damp while your new little plants work away at making roots.
The thing is to try it! It is really magic, and if you have some children about try putting a little cutting of a fuchsia or pelargonium into a glass of water and watch the roots form over the next month. Plants are clever creatures!
February 10th, 2010
There are many little tasks to keep us busy this month. The Bearded Iris (Iris Germanica ) can be lifted and divided this month. You need to lift the clump with a fork, and cut away the oldest parts. The really fun bit is triming the leaves to an inverted V, approximately 6 centimetres at the outer leaves, very neat! Replant your peices of rhizome on a slight ridge of soil leaving the tops exposed.
Another job for this month is to hoe around and under the lemon tree who could use a bit of feed this month, just to encourage it along.
Semi-Hardwood cuttings of many plants can be taken this month too, on my list is of course my Fuchisias – all of whom very badly need to be cut back, and waste not want not! It is how I got to have so many! They are good for swapping with friends and other gardeners too. To take semi-hardwood cuttings, cut off pieces of young but well-ripened (fairly hard) wood, about 20 centimetres long, preferably with a heel (this is the section that joins onto an older piece of wood). Make sure that you dip the ends of the cuttings in hormone powder and trim the leaves. Trimming the leaves helps the plant to save energy while it develops roots. Thats why you cut back the leaves on the Iris too. It gives the plant less to think about -less stress. Yes, its true, plants feel stress too.
But, why stop at fuchisias? You can also take cuttings of azaleas, camellias, pelargoniums, lavenders, rosemary Cistus…. the list goes on. Its fun and a very good way to increase your stock.
Those naughty weeds are creeping back in..so they will need to be dealt with and the usual care, watering, feeding, eating of tomatoes -all this must be kept up with. Tomatoes might also enjoy a little more mulch and if some of the leaves are turning yellow it is best to pinch them off, it looks better and helps to let more light reach the fruits to ripen them. So, much to be done, so little time.