Thursday, August 6, 2009

Growing my gardens

I've reached a point where I will snip something off a plant I don't even care for to see if I can root it. Usually I stick it in the cloner and forget about it. I've never tried rooting eucalyptus. I've never even had a eucalyptus before. I got one last week at the store. I even paid full price. It's not really hardy here, but I have a good spot for it next to a South facing brick wall.

Back to the cuttings...I took cuttings of passionvine, eucalyptus, three kinds of tomatoes, and a Mr. Lincoln that I broke off accidentally. I was trying to dig a hole, but more on that in a minute.

Small cups will be used this time. I'm trying the baggie method too. That's new for me, but one thing I run into using my containers is critter feasts. Before the cuttings can root, pillbugs begin chewing on the cut end. Then comes fungus, and finally rot. So, this should eliminate some of those problems.

All my tools. Rooting hormone is in the small dish. I use Rootone powder because it's accessible and cheap.

The passionvine cutting with all the leaves. I took one about 18" from the tip end. The cutting is about 6" once the top foot is removed. It's too young to root. I want three leaf nodes with mature leaves.

I stripped the bottom two sets of leaves. These will both be sunk into the soil. If the bottom on fails to root, or rots, the middle node might root in time to save the cutting.

I dusted it with hormone, stuck it in well draining soil, and placed it in a gallon sized zip lock bag with the two eucalyptus cuttings. What am I going to do with three eucalyptus plants?

After I stuck the tomatoes (yes, I know what the date is, trust me), I put all the bags at the end of the driveway. The sunlight here is dappled only late in the day. It never receives any direct sunlight. I want to keep them where I can watch.

A cutting from kongmansia. The mother plant is stressed thanks to a spider mite infestation and the treatment. I hate using chemicals. I put this one in the cloner. I hope it roots, but I expect it to turn to mush.

I mowed the yard, weeded in the perennial bed, edged the driveway, took lots of photos for my records, hauled a little stone I found near the edge of the gully, and finished the back bed's border.

Yes, it is a knockout rose, a single red. I like the combination with the Mystic Spires salvia. Next year, the lavender, salvia, and roses should fill in nicely. The climbing hydrangea behind it is growing. Well I know what'll be covering the rotting trunk of that oak tree in the back yard in a few years.

There's more I want to do, but as it is, I'll sleep well tonight. I'm just going to take that one cutting, first.


cat said...

all great! the only thing i'd warn you about, but you probably are more up on this than me, is with eucalyptus. most things don't grow well under a eucalyptus tree, at least not in my experience nor my sister's who's rental yard is bordered with them. (everything she plants, even in 3 foot tall raised beds, grows stunted and eventually dies) so wherever you are putting it, maybe keep that in mind...;) that's our experience anyway, you will probably be way more successful! haha

i want more passion flower vine too and my neighbor has been so kind to offer some that i can dig out, roots intact. so i will be taking him up on that asap! :)

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I've got a bed where nothing seems to grow anyway. That's where the eucalyptus is. I've fought with that bed til I am sick of it.

Engineeredgarden said...

Tom - I sure do enjoy reading your propagating posts. There are several things i'll be trying to root in the future, but taking the cutting at the correct time of year is confusing to me. I'd like to root crapemyrtle, for sure - but many other things as well. I'm gonna do a post in the next week, where i'll show a weird shoot that just popped up out of the ground at the base of one of my pear trees, and hope you'll tellme what to do about it. If it can be rooted or anything, please let me know. As a matter of fact, i'll try taking cuttings from everything in my orchard - if you think I can get cuttings from them to root.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

EG, if it loses its leaves in winter, take cuttings in January. Stick them in sandy soil and leave them uncovered outside for the winter. Protect them from freezing winds, against the base of the house is good.

If it doesn't lose it's leaves, you can probably take cuttings in fall. Evergreens will take a while to root.

I stand by my rule, just after it blooms. Snip off the bloom, stick it in sandy soil. Protect it from sun and drying out. Some will, some won't.

If you want a technical guide, The Propagator's Bible is a great book. The library here has it.

Jill-O said...

I've been dabbling in propogation this year but haven't been too successful. It drives me crazy that my mother just sticks things in a vase of water and they root. She's got the real green thumb in the family.

Jim-The Gaudy Garden said...

It time to buy stock in 'Zip Lock'.

Nell Jean said...

I'm saving yoghurt cups for recycling as cutting and seedling cups. I slash 4 cuts around the side and bottom with dollar store scissors.

There are huge eucalyptus trees over in Thomasville GA, I've always envied them, solely because of that blue color.