Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Experimenting with Outdoor Cuttings

A large part of Taproot Garden Design & Fine Gardening is the fine gardening.  Specialty pruning during the months of February and March affords us the opportunity to take cuttings of plants that survived a full year's cycle of the elements.  During these months, softwood cuttings of most perennials are easy to propagate in large quantities, as plant material is removed to accelerate new spring growth.

We managed to save these cuttings for propagation in early March. Using a powder form rooting hormone, each soft wood cutting was dipped in water, then rooting hormone and placed into a flat with a light soil mix. With no greenhouse or outdoor structure available, the flat was merely tucked under an outdoor chair and subjected to the rains and cold weather.  With a lack of protection from the elements, half the flat was lost due to rot and frost.  In April, as soon as the rains stopped and the weather began warming, the flat with the remaining cuttings was placed on a concrete sidewalk and left to bake in the sun; the concrete sidewalk took the place of a 'heating pad' and within two weeks, the roots were an inch long.

The plants are now acclimating to their new life and will likely make it back to the same garden as the mother plant from whence they came.

March 2010 cuttings of Mimulus 'Valentine'

No comments: