Tag Archives: Propagation

More Yellow, Tomatoes and Gooseberries

This is the third spring for this rose. I believe I am going to try my hand at propagation this year. I’m leaning towards bending one of the branches over and burying it after a light scraping of the bark and a touch of rooting powder. Perhaps by next spring I will have a second plant.

This weekend saw the transplanting of the basement tomatoes into their individual cups. I’m a little late with the tomatoes this year. I started them in the basement as usual but didn’t realize that the light in the prop bench had gone out not long after they all came up. The cooler soil temps delayed their growth and I was too busy to notice. So… I am probably a couple of weeks behind where I would be. It is probably for the best though as it has been so wet here, I still have yet to get into the garden to get it tilled. The weeds are loving it. I am going to have to mow the weeds prior to tilling and before they bloom if I have any hope of getting anything to grow out there.

It is going to be another AWESOME year for gooseberries. They are some of the most rugged little plants I’ve ever seen. Very thorny but well worth the work of picking. The fruit ripens over time so there is a longer harvest than many of the small fruits. When I planted these several years ago, I had never tasted a gooseberry. I had good reports and, as they could grow in partial shade, I decided to give them a try. They are getting full sun in the spring till the leaves of the locust tree fill in. For the rest of the summer they only get about 2 tor 4 hours of sun in the morning and perhaps a little filtered sun late in the evening. They are loaded with fruit again this year. There are the original two bushes that are about 4′ tall and a third I planted last spring or the year before. One is a Poorman (my favorite for flavor) and two are Pixwell. One was purchased locally (Highlands Garden Center) and the others may have come from Indiana Berry though I am not sure. The latter has fewer thorns but the former has larger sweeter berries. If you are feeling adventuresome and have a 5′ square semi-shady area you can part with they are well worth the little work they require.

Tomatoes and Grape Vines

The tomato seeds are in their little beds. I planted 1-2 cups of each variety with about 10-20 seed in each. In a few weeks these will be thinned 1 plant to a cup except for the patio toms which will have a couple of neighbors. I turned the heat aka 75 watt light bulb on to keep their feet warm.

Yesterday’s visit to the chiropractor scored some grape vines they had recently cut. I am going to try some basket type stuff with some of it. Will keep you posted.

Late Cleanup

This week is my well earned vacation week. We aren’t going anywhere this week but I am using it to catch up on some projects.

Today I cleaned out the raspberry beds, cutting one to the ground and the other to about 12-18 inches high. They are just starting to wake up. I normally do it before now but it is still early enough I do believe. The variety is Heritage and since they will fruit twice I alternate beds so that each spring a bed is fruiting and that fall the other bed is fruiting. It makes for a very long raspberry harvest.

I also cleaned out the blackberry patch. Well…half of it anyway. I keep threatening to get rid of one non productive row. I do believe this is the year for it.

I bought some basil seeds yesterday that I will start tonight in the basement. I have some tomato seeds on order. I like to get them started by April 1 so I am right on target with that. I ended up not getting the garlic in the ground last fall so I started some in the basement about a month ago. I will transplant it outside probably this week.

There is still a LOT of cleanup that is needed in the flower beds. I am still not sure what I want to do with it though. We haven’t had the rain we need to keep it looking decent so I may just take out some of it and turn it back into lawn. The jury is still out on that one.

Cutting Success and Unknown Figs

About 3 months ago I planted the cuttings that I had taken from both plants last fall. They had spent the winter in a ziplock back in the veggie tray of the fridge. They went into moist soil with no rooting hormone, heat or anything. They cups were kept in the milk crates and left in the shade. The past month or so they have been eased into the sun where they are now getting about 5 hours a day. Every one of them rooted. Not a single loss. I’ve been slowly finding homes for them. I really didn’t expect to end up with so many making it but am glad they did. Now to find them some homes.

A coup of years ago I purchased what were supposed to be 2 Brown Turkey Figs from two different suppliers, one local and one via the Internet. Looking at the fruit below it appears that at least one is mislabeled.


I’ve scoured the net and I’ve seen photos of brown turkey figs that appear quite dark and others that appear lighter. The green fruit above will end up with more color than it has now (green/brown/gold) while the darker of the two will get quite purple and be much smaller. The mature leaves are a bit different too. The purple variety has more angular leaves while the green variety has more rounded leaves. Anyone have any ideas?

Getting Back Into It

Another year has come and the decision on whether or not to have a garden this year was one I pondered for the first time in a long time. As evidenced by the dearth of posts from the latter part of last season, my free time has been drastically curtailed. I’ve decided to cut back a bit this year focusing mainly on the existing fruit and some tomatoes, eggplant and perhaps some beans if I am feeling particular daring.

A couple of weekends ago I took a ziplock bag of some Brown Turkey fig cuttings out of the crisper that I had cut last fall. Half of these I treated with dip n grow and placed in cups of vermiculite in my cutting bench and turned the bulbs on. Half of these were covered with the tops of soda bottles sans the lids. I just checked on them and a couple under the covers are working on some small leaves and others have green buds. I’m sure there are no roots yet. The ‘soil’ temp is right around 72-75F

Today I took some cuttings of the female arctic kiwi that I purchased last year. She needed a trim and I got about 9 5″ cuttings that I treated like the figs above. The stems weren’t as large as I would have liked but I thought what the heck. I have no experience propagating either figs or kiwi so I don’t have a clue how this will turn out.

Last night I purchased some tomato seed. 5 varieties in all. Two of these I grow every year (Big Beef and Celebrity). I decided to try Jetsetter and two smaller varieties, Florida Petite and Florida Basket. All were purchased from Tomato Growers Supply. I’ve ordered from them before and have never been disappointed either with their selection or their seed. I and a fellow gardener at work have been asked to give a talk on gardening later this spring. Since many of the staff live in nearby condos I thought I would try the two cherry varieties as Fl. Petite boasts of growing in a 4″ pot and the 40 day to harvest I couldn’t pass up. Fl. Basket is supposed to work well in hanging baskets. I should have time to get these planted and some good sized transplants ready for our talk. The Jetsetter is an indeterminate variety that sounded promising with its disease resistance. Stay tuned.

Red Lake Currant Cuttings – Day 80

These are the only two cuttings of the twelve to make it. It had looked like three others were going to make it but they slowly died. They never really recovered from the fungus issue early on. Both of these had been treated with Dip-N-Grow prior to placing them in the soil back in early March.

Update: Blueberry Cuttings – 9 wks

Its not looking good. I’ve lost all of the cuttings that were in the plastic bag. The ones in the float tray are right behind them. I have to wonder if they didn’t put out leaves too soon. The only ones still kicking are the ones under the jars and they just started leafing out a few weeks ago.

I noticed that the thicker stemmed cuttings seemed to last the longest of the ones that have died so far. It makes sense that they would have more stored energy than the thinner ones. I’ll be interested to see if the few remaining ones do anything.

The 3 gallon pots of small starts I divided out of the 5 gallon buckets all seem to be doing great except for one. If all goes well with them I’ll end up with 12 plants where I had 6 and 2 of those are buckets that I held off dividing this time. I’ll do those late next winter/early spring.



Almost 2 weeks ago (or was it 3??) I took some cuttings from my weeping willow and curly willow 4′ tall treelets. Last night I potted up many of the weeping willow. These cuttings were quite small in diameter. I’ve had great luck in the past rooting larger diameter cuttings. I wanted to see how the smaller ones would do. They were just starting to break dormancy when I took the cuttings. The weeping willow started out as a 12″ mid-late summer cutting I took year before last.


Here are the ones left to pot up. These had to wait as I ran out of soil.


The curly willow cuttings are the same size and were taken at the same time but they seem to be running a bit behind the weeping willows.

Not sure what I am going to do with these. I have a friend to take a couple and I will plant a few of the curly willows myself. Anyone local to Cincinnati want a rooted willow cutting?

Future Tomatoes

These babies are Big Beef, Celebrity and Classica. The seed was a couple of years old in some cases and yet it looks like every one sprouted. These are growing in the float tray.

It wasn’t till last week that I realized I planted my tomaotes about a month earlier than I had planned to. I don’t normally plant them in the garden till mid May, these should be monsters by then. I am not sure what I was thinking, early March is not April 1st. Oh well early to plant…

Update: Propagation Table aka Cutting Bench

I’ve completed one side of my propagation table aka cutting bench aka old sink with a light in it for heat. I cut 20 circles about 3 3/4″ in diameter into a 2’x2’x3/8″ piece of plywood. The holes hold the 18 oz drink cups that are so cheap at the store. I cut a drainage hole in each cup and they sit in the holes with the soil down in the heated area. Old soda bottles make great humidity chambers. There are also some larger drink cups salvaged from the floor of my car after a fastfood visit. One has a 2 liter soda bottle on top to keep the humidity up on cuttings that have not yet rooted. I also use the bottom that was cut off of the 2 liter to cover cups with seeds in the process of sprouting. Smaller cups can also work by using a cardboard adapter easily cut to size. All in all I am very pleased with the way this has turned out. I need to put together another light for the other side and cut another piece of plywood. I will then be able to support 40 containers in a 2’x4′ area.

by: kerry