Saturday, June 25, 2011

Plant propagation

One of the things I have enjoyed most about being a new gardener is learning about how to propagate plants. Buying plants that are already established is fun but it's a lot more fun to establish new plants for your garden on your own. There are several ways to do this and I am just starting to explore them.

Starting plants from seeds is fun and easy. In San Diego we still have a couple more weeks to get some seeds started to plant for the warm season so if you're thinking of starting your own garden, you still have time to start from seed.

We're starting seeds in 4.5 inch pots that we put in a kiddie pool so they can be watered from below.
Starting seeds is even more fun when those seeds are ones that you saved yourself from last season. We have some Chile peppers and our Mammoth sunflowers that we started from our own saved seed and moving forward we hope to start more of our plants with our own seed.

Some plants can be started from cuttings which is something I have just started playing around with, but I hope will be successful. Farmer D has been wanting to cut back our lemon-rose geranium for quite some time so I finally got around to doing it.

Lemon Rose Geranium after being pruned

Rooting Hormone
Larisa and I took the pieces that we cut off and removed the leaves from the lower part of the stem and then dipped the stem in rooting hormone and put a little of the rooting hormone on the nodes where the leaves were too. Then we planted the stems deeply in individual pots and now we will wait to see how they do.

Potted Lemon Rose Geranium cuttings
We're getting some shoots off our strawberry plants now too so we worked on getting those to root as well.

Shoots coming off strawberries mean future plants for our garden
Rooting strawberries is fairly easy. I just take some good soil in a small pot, I'm using some of my 4.5 inch pots in this case, and clip the plant that is developing on the shoot, to the top of the soil. 

Strawberry shoot with plant clipped to soil

I took the metal loops out of some binder clips for this as I was out of landscape pins.
Once the plant is secured on to the soil, water regularly for about a month, or until you are sure the plant has developed some roots and then you can cut the shoot, remove the metal clip, and transplant your new strawberry plant to it's permanent place in your garden.

More strawberry babies 

Gidget reminds us of Abraham Lincoln's wise words.  I hope we can live up to her expectations.

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