Updated: March 2018
This is an update to an earlier post, find that article here.
Back in early December, I took a mini plant propagation workshop at a neighboring farm. I got a quick but thorough download on the basic process of propagating by hardwood cutting, and left home with a few nice bundles of cuttings for my own propagation experiment. Read more about that process here.
Nearly 3 months later, with the weather warming and plants starting to wake up all around, it’s time to unearth the cuttings from their sandy burial and get them into some soil. To my excitement, most of the cuttings had calloused over where they were cut, and nearly all of them were alive and starting to bud out. There was a bit of white fungus starting to grow inside the tape-wrapped bundles, so perhaps I left them in the sand too long, or the sand was too wet. In case you haven’t read the previous article, the buried cuttings were in our greenhouse, under a table to keep any sunlight off. I rinsed all the cuttings with water which seemed to take care of the fungus, at least superficially.
I mixed up some soil from roughly equal parts of coarse sand, compost and native soil, then filled 1 gallon pots. Now, I wasn’t sure if these swollen buds would turn into roots underground, but instead of trying to look it up online, or calling around, I decided to do an experiment: Half the cuttings I left intact, buried about halfway up in the pots, the other half I rubbed off the buds on the lower half and buried that part. Each cutting was dipped in some mycorrhizal fungi, plunked down in the potting soil, watered in with some diluted liquid kelp, labeled and placed on a heat mat in the greenhouse.
And that’s that. I’ll post an update soon, I’m excited to see how these babies do.