Monday, March 28, 2011

Seedlings and Cuttings

I got my seed starting operation off to a late start this spring.  It's now been a few weeks since I started them in trays over heat mats in my shed.  Here are a few pics:

Tomato seedlings with condensation inside the plastic domes.
Borage.  It's a good companion plant for tomatoes and has edible flowers.
A variety of very young pepper seedlings.
I know, I know, plastic is bad for the environment.  But I prefer using plastic trays and cells rather than peat because peat always dries out and gets crusty.  I just clean the plastic and re-use it each year.

I also started a TON of cuttings thanks to much assistance and information from Sybil and Rob.  I am attempting to root approximately 100 fig cuttings of the following varieties: Celeste, Blue Celeste, Hardy Chicago, Alma, Italian Golden Honey/Lattarula, Osborne Prolific, Magnolia/Brunswick, Strawberry Verte, Violet de Bordeaux, and Panache/Tiger.  I am rooting the cuttings in plastic cups (with drainage holes) filled with perlite and a pinch of potting soil.  Sybil recommended a mix of 50:50 perlite:vermiculite, but I was in a pinch for time and money and opted to use what I already had in my shed. Aside from some moisture management, there isn't much for me to do until they start to root in a bunch of weeks.

Assorted fig cuttings in cups of perlite.  I placed them in trays to make it easier to move them outside for watering.
If you look closely you can see some green growth emerging from the tips of the cuttings.  I'm less concerned with top growth and more concerned with root growth at this stage.
Sybil also presented me with cuttings of loquat (interesting evergreen edible) and che (relative of mulberry).  Although I've never eaten these fruits or attempted to grow them, it's a new opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone and try something new.  So I've got them in cups too.

Loquat cuttings with the leaves trimmed to reduce transpiration.
Che cuttings from a beautiful shrub/tree that looked similar in structure to a Japanese Maple.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with this many cuttings.  Even if I only achieve a 75% success rate with rooting I'm still going to be dealing with about 75 new plants.  Yikes!  Looks like I've got birthday and holiday gifts covered for a while, as well as a few extras for a plant sale.

1 comment:

Mr. H. said...

I love that you are propigating so many new cuttings and can't wait to hear how they turn fun.