Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just Propagation

I feel like a guilty Catholic. Has it really been since August since my last confession, ehr, blog? The end of the summer garden season did have me depressed, but a new season has inspired me. Instead of one incredibly long post to summarize the last few months I think I will break it down to small thematic ones. This week's obsession is vegetative or asexual propagation.

We cleared 2 apple trees from the orchard and then had some crazy wind bring down the plum last week. It was bittersweet. All of the new sunny space, coupled with a new knowledge of dwarfing fruit trees, has me giddy. What new stuff can I have?! I have one Chicago Hardy Fig in a pot (new this year) and one sad hardy (can't remember the variety) behind the garage (a couple years old). I've decided one of these will be planted in the orchard next year. Knowing the garage one will die back this winter I decided to cut the one branch and try to propagate it. 

Fig cutting how to:
Cut just below a node (where buds are/leaves attach-the knobby area).
Scrape a bit of the outer bark layer away, exposing the vascular cambium (where new roots should emerge).
Cut up a few nodes away- making a 4-5 inch cutting in total. (see below)
Dip scraped end in rooting hormone
Wrap loosely in moistened, squeezed of excess water, newspaper
Put in a labeled ziplock and leave on top of fridge (for warmth) Check in 2-3 weeks for roots. 
Once roots have formed they can be planted in pots.

Chicago Hardy Fig 
will bring in when it gets cold

 Wild Hydrangea- two methods
#1 I'm attempting 2 ways to asexually propagate Wild Hydrangea. The first method is an old fashioned and very simple way. I chose a stem in the direction of where I would like more hydrangeas to grow. This doesn't have to be the case. You could dig them up and move them once rooted, but I just want some next to the mother plant.
Scrape away a little of the outermost layer at each node and on the soil side- there were several
Bury the entire branch just under soil
Hold down with a couple of bricks or stones
Wait until spring/summer
If successful, new shrubs should emerge from each buried node.
Urey helping
#2 I cut a couple of younger branches off of the mother plant and brought them inside
I did the same thing as I did with the figs in terms of cutting, scraping and dipping in rooting hormone
Next, I put them in a glass of perlite & water. Label.
Hydrangea on right
Mulberry on left (only cut & dipped- did not scrape) in water only.

Yellow Raspberry Cuttings
Cut, scraped, dipped and put in a pot of compost
Will stay outside for the winter

Planting Fall Tree Seeds (not asexual)
I'd like to add more diversity of trees to our local nature park without having to buy trees, while also getting local ecotypes. I collected some acorns and hickory nuts on a recent hike.
Fall Tree Seed How to:
Plant about 2 inches deep in a pot of compost. Label
Leave outside over winter. I probably will cover with chicken wire to keep the squirrels from stealing.

List of cuttings I'd still like to make this winter:
Illinois Rose
Unknown, hippy rose
Clove currant

I've become slightly obsessed. I can't help but love free plants I've made on my own. 
Happy Propagating!