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How I root cuttings

posted by: mark4321 on 10.06.2009 at 05:42 am in Passiflora Forum

As far as I know there isn't a thread that describes step by step how to root Passiflora cuttings with lots of pictures. Since that's probably in the top 5 questions that people have on this forum I thought I'd give it a shot.

I'm hoping to get lots of feedback on this. It certainly isn't the only way to do things. It may have mistakes. I would encourage people to read farther down the posts to see if I or others have corrected mistakes.

My idea here is to follow some cuttings from beginning to end (rooted).

For those who like to propagate things, finally getting something difficult to root is a real achievement and a relief. Sometimes you feel as if there were something lacking in your abilities.

Recently I got first roots on a couple things generally thought to be difficult:


So how does one get from a vine to rooted cutting?

First, getting started. Like anything there are a whole lot of variables that may or may not matter. It's always best to start with a healthy parent and cut from vine of the right age. Generally this means not too soft and not too mature. In practice this varies from plant to plant.

Look for bugs.

Look for buds. It can be frustrating if you cut off your first bud ever.

However before one cuts up any plants it's useful to have everything else set up. I root most things in perlite in clear plastic cups. I use 10 oz cups, which are available at most grocery stores.

For each rooting chamber I use 3 clear plastic cups. One has holes punched in the bottom--the medium and the cuttings go there. Below that will go another a plastic cup, with peanuts in the bottom. This collects water that drains though the container above. It's important to check every few days and make sure water hasn't accumulated at the bottom. Finally, an inverted cup will go on the top to maintain high humidity.

Here are the components of the rooting chamber:

3 Cup for Each Rooting Chamber

And here are 4 sets of cups with different kinds of media, perlite, and a perilte peat mixture on the right.

Cups with perlite, perlite, perlite and perlite:peat with inverted cups for the top

The perlite and the perlite:peat are moist of course. You can either moisten it before or after putting it in the cup. Either way, make sure it's thoroughly moist and discard any water that comes through the drainage holes.

Actually peat is hard to moisten. What I would do is put the mix in a plastic bag, add water, and gently and carefully shake it up.

Time to prepare the cuttings:

Here are pieces I cut off of three of my plants. P. 'Mission Dolores' is P. parritae x antioquiensis. The P. 'Sunburst' piece is pretty beat up, which is why I turned it into a cutting. I cut material from each plant up with a separate sterile razor blade:

Cuttings Ready to Go

I generally make 2 and 3 node cuttings. In my experience and that of others short cuttings tend to root better. Plus, one can try more conditions, and the chances are greater you will succeed. Most of us have grown vines before and realize that once they start growing they often go fast. An extra long cutting does not make a positive difference.

I generally cut about 1/4 inch below the bottom node, about the same above the top node. I remove all but the uppermost leaf, and often tear or cut off half or more of the remaining leaf. Tendrils and buds should also go. Depending on a number of factors I often cut or tear some of that off.

Here's the result:

Cuttings with extra bits removed

I left the pieces so you could see what was removed. If one removed the pieces that are not attached one gets the following cuttings:

Cuttings all set

Here are all 3 of the previous pictures all at once. Notice how much of the original material has been discarded:

Uncut, chopped up, ready to go

Next I typically "dip" my cuttings in rooting hormone. This may or may not make a difference. The hormone seems to come in quantities that will last a lifetime. Do not dip the cutting into the container. It will contaminate it, which can lead to all sorts of problems. Plus if the cutting has a short stem it may not make it all the way down.

Gently pour out a very small amount of hormone onto something clean (a piece of paper, for example). Tip the container on its side and tap it with your hand so just a small amount comes out. After using this very small amount toss what's left.

I just touch the tip of the cutting to the hormone. You just want a tiny amount:

Touching cutting to rooting hormone

Push the appropriate number of holes into the moist media (for example using a pen). Insert the cutting and push the medium around it. This has been done to the one on the right:

Putting cuttings into perlite

Put the inverted cup on the top, tape that cup to the one containing the cuttings and the medium.

Put the cups in the appropriate locations. I put the P. sanguinolenta in the perlite:peat mixture and put it on bottom heat. All of the others can be put at room temperature, in a bright area, but out of any sun. A bright windowsill or under lights is appropriate.

Here are the cuttings--I split the P.'Mission Dolores' between 2 cups, the other types each went into one cup.

Cutting all set

Now all that's necessary is to wait. I'll post pictures of the above cuttings once a week.


clipped on: 01.05.2010 at 01:46 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2010 at 01:46 pm

RE: Hobby Greenhouse (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: knittlin on 11.25.2008 at 10:18 am in Plant Propagation Forum

You might also want electricity for lights for working at night, and an emergency heater should the gas run out (if you're using gas heat that is). Just be careful with the electricity of course ~ water being so prevalent in a g-house and all. My electrical plug is up at the top of one end of mine, up out of the water.

I have a greenhouse made of cattle panels and it's wonderful. Materials were about $600 for a 20' long one, but would be a good chunk less if you used the regular 16' cattle panels instead of the 20' ones (16' panels 9' apart gave me about 5'10" of height ~ 8' apart I think would get you 6' tall ~~ 20' ones like I have makes it about 7' tall). It's plenty sturdy enough to hang two rows of hanging baskets down each side. I built it like the one here, but used 4x4s on the bottom and closed in the ends with plywood on a wooden wall frame. Here's a not-so-good picture of it before the second layer of plastic was taken off.

More pictures.

I don't use automatic vents, but would like one in each end eventually. It's not been too hard to remember to open it up during the day and close it at night, but automatic is always nicer. I do have a large window in one end, aluminum framed one installed upside down so when it's open the open area is at the top.

I use two layers of 6 mil plastic held apart by lengths of pvc pipe insulation to form an insulating space. Enough plastic and pvc insulation to cover my 10'x20' greenhouse costs about sixty bucks. The plastic ($40 of that sixty) only lasts one year, but the insulation lasts years. It would be about the same price or a bit more expensive (even pro-rated per year) to buy four-year greenhouse plastic, but worth the extra since you only put it on once every four years and it won't crumble to pieces come spring (those pieces are a pita to pick up if you don't get the plastic off in time).

In my climate, I don't need supplemental heat in it if I'm only trying to keep things from freezing. Tomato and pepper seedlings, rooted cuttings, etc., all do fine when placed on the ground in my unheated g-house. Actually, even my tropicals do okay, though the tall ones smetimes get nipped on extra-cold nights (only a couple times a year). I'd bet I could put some floating row cover over them then and they'd still be okay. But you'd probably need extra heat. If you did two layers of plastic, you wouldn't need as much as with only one layer.

One other thing I did that's handy ~ I put it under some deciduous trees so it would be shaded in summer and get sun in winter. This works out really nicely. The plastic lasts a bit longer this way and I can still use it in summer as a potting shed.

These can also be used for any kind of shed. At the link, you'll see pictures of the first one I built years ago that's now being used as a chicken coop. Handy!


clipped on: 12.11.2008 at 02:55 pm    last updated on: 12.11.2008 at 02:56 pm

RE: Saving seeds (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: lilydude on 11.21.2008 at 11:41 pm in Seed Exchange Forum

This is a method that you can use for long-term storage. It is extremely effective.
1. Buy fresh seed whenever available. Or collect seed and allow it to dry indoors for a couple of weeks.
2. Place in airtight container. Seed must be dry.
3. Place container in freezer.
4. When you need seed, remove container from freezer. To prevent condensation, do not open until contents are near room temperature (about 30 minutes).
5. Remove seeds that you are going to use. Close container and place back in freezer.
Seed will remain viable 20 years or more. I'm still using seeds that I bought in the 70's.


clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 01:39 am    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 01:39 am

Propagation Chamber

posted by: jbest123 on 08.14.2007 at 03:50 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Let me start by saying that, I used the propagation box from with great success. The box filled with wet coarse sand and an aquarium weighed 60 to 70 lb, which was a little to heavy for me to be moving around (I'm almost 70 yrs old). I made 6 boxed and they are still in good use by my Daughter and Son in law. I liked the idea of little_dani's Easy Propagation Chamber but thought it would be a little to small for my use.
I found 2 food storage containers at Walmart one a 20 quart and one a 12 quart with the same dimensions around the perimeter. I drilled six 5/8 in holes for drainage in the 12 quart container, and lade a piece of hardware cloth on the bottom to keep the potting soil from washing out. (photo 1) There is a little gap at both ends of the containers, allowing for ventilation, no need for further holes. ( photo 2) . For the potting soil I use 50/50 peat moss and vermiculite. What I like about the near transparent container for the bottom is you can see root development and water needs. Photo 3 shows root development and beads of condensation which indicates adequate air space and water. Each container will hold 120 to130 cuttings and all seem to be doing well and pass the tug test. (photo 4) When I stick the cuttings, I will leave them outside in the shade for 1 week and then move them to the greenhouse. Six chambers fit on an 8 ft shelf very nicely. (photo 5). I also use a 24 in bungie cord to keep the two containers aligned.


clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 12:32 am    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 12:33 am

RE: Rooting help (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: cweathersby on 07.27.2007 at 12:21 am in Texas Gardening Forum

One super easy way to propagate things:
Get peat moss and sand. Mix them together, using half peat moss half sand. Wet the mixture down. Grab handfuls of the mixture and squeeze the excess moisture out. Put the handfuls into a gallon storage bag. Make 1 big clump of it in the bottom of the storage bag. Take your cuttings, nick the sides of the cuttings, add the rooting hormone, and stick them in the peat moss/ sand. Seal the bag. Put the bag in a shady spot. Leave it alone. You will eventually see roots in the bottom of the bag. Once the roots look pretty big, start opening the bag one inch at a time, using a stick or something to prop the bag open. When the bag is all the way open you can take the rooted cuttings out and put them each in their own pot. Keep these pots in the shade and well watered for a little while until you know that they have adjusted to being outside of the bag.
Bingo - you're a rooting pro.
The trickiest part for some people is leaving the bag closed until the roots are there. Some people just have to mess with the cuttings. But once the bag is sealed the cuttings will not need any water or anything and you can literally just leave the bag in the shade for a couple of months and never think about it then one day you'll go over and look at the bottom of the bag and see roots!
One good hint- most things root easiest around this time of the year. Winter is just about the worst time.

Believe me, the baggie method works. I have been using a misting system for 2 years but I swear that I had more success back when I was using baggies.


clipped on: 08.28.2008 at 04:33 am    last updated on: 08.28.2008 at 04:33 am

RE: Rooting help (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: little_dani on 07.24.2007 at 03:04 pm in Texas Gardening Forum

There are a couple of other books that are great for growing your knowledge of plant propagation.

One is called "Making More Plants" by Ken Druse, and is just excellent. Very easy to read and understand and very well illustrated.

The other is "The American Horticulture Society Book of Plant Propagation". All the good stuff about the former book goes for this one too.

Then there is the Dirr book, but I can't afford that one. I am saving my pennies tho, one of these days..............

Good Luck!



clipped on: 08.28.2008 at 04:30 am    last updated on: 08.28.2008 at 04:30 am

RE: Rooting help (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: fairysoapgirl on 07.24.2007 at 10:25 am in Texas Gardening Forum

I have used the info from this site obtained from the propagation forum. The most helpful was this post about creating your own propagation chamber. I have used this a lot, and it works great for me. I use a bigger tub for my cuttings as the shoe box size never seemed to be big enough for my cuttings. One thing to keep in mind is that things root at different rates (some two weeks, some months).

I also have a book called Secrets of Plant Propagation Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Berries, Shrubs, Trees and Houseplants by Lewis Hill. I really liked this one and it has been voted one of the best 75 books by the American Horticultural Society. It has pictures, list of how to propagate each kind of plant, propagation methods, equipment needs, how to start seeds and more... I got mine at Barnes and Noble, but I think it was the only copy - you might just need to ask them to order these books for you. I still think it is funny that they had ONE book on Plant Propagation, but had ELEVEN books on how to grow POT! LOL... The lady at the counter didn't think that was too funny, but I sure did!


clipped on: 08.28.2008 at 04:29 am    last updated on: 08.28.2008 at 04:29 am

RE: Rooting help (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: marlingardener on 07.24.2007 at 09:48 am in Texas Gardening Forum


The definitive book on propagating plants is Jill Nokes' How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (ISBN 0-292-75573-2). It covers propagation methods, seed gathering, germination or success rates, and gives nice descriptions of the plants, too! If you want to make more plants, get the book--you will love it!


clipped on: 08.28.2008 at 04:26 am    last updated on: 08.28.2008 at 04:26 am

anyone else with cinder blocks??

posted by: VAherbmom on 06.28.2005 at 10:43 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

Anyone else out there build cinder block raised beds? I am very happy with mine, except . . . they're ugly! Anyone else come up with a way to beautify them??

We've considered paint and building a wattle-type fence (no clue how to do that but shouldn't be too hard).



clipped on: 08.26.2008 at 02:26 am    last updated on: 08.26.2008 at 02:26 am

RE: Kale for fall planting? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ppod on 08.18.2008 at 12:28 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Sometimes I think we are much too timid. What's to loose if we sow kale and it croaks under the weight of a frost? A few seeds and a little prep. What's to gain? Great satisfaction and lots more.....

Regular kale, like Scotch, is very cold hardy. The Tuscan kale stays green throughout winter in my zone 6 NY. This year, I'll se if the Scotch does as well. I suspect it will.

I like the Scotch kale, since it is more productive than the Tuscan. I grow both as cut-and-come-again, that is, I cut a 3-4-5 leaves from the plants (but leave the coarsest ones on the plant). I'm still harvesting kale from the plants I set out this spring. A few leaves of Scotch go a long way in a culinary sense, since its taste is rather assertive. However, chopped fine (like parsley) and cooked, it does great service added to all other vegetables. It's chock-full of calcium.

Chopped fine and cooked, it is delicious added to bechamel sauce. The sauce somewhat masks the assertive kale flavor. I haven't tried it, but I bet it would be delicious in a cheese souffl.

Hope this is helpful.....

Here is a link that might be useful: kale seeds at Willhite, TX


clipped on: 08.19.2008 at 03:52 am    last updated on: 08.19.2008 at 03:53 am

RE: Beets (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: grandpop1 on 08.16.2008 at 08:53 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Agree with the above answers and for an add on, as a general rule, when you're getting better than expected foliage at the expense of fruit, etc, it's due to too much nitrogen. While I believe it's important to be plant specific with you fertilizing, another general guideline is more nitrogen when you eat the leaves (ie-cabbage, kale), less nitrogen when you eat the fruit, flower, root (ie tomato, broccoli, beet). I have a little chart for the veggies I grow that tells me what to fertilize with and depending on whether or not they are heavy feeders (ie corn)I'll know how often and how much. I also get my soil tested so I know where I'm starting from


clipped on: 08.17.2008 at 04:37 am    last updated on: 08.17.2008 at 04:37 am

RE: Purple peppers mature (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: anniesgranny on 08.15.2008 at 12:43 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

As far as I know, you can eat them at any stage...these are bell type, aren't they? I'm surprised they didn't go from green to purple, but I've never grown that variety before. I think the most prolific bell peppers I ever grew were called Gypsy. They had green, yellow and orange peppers all at once. I think I will try to find them next year, I was very impressed. I'm picking my red bells while they are green, as I need them. I only see one that is beginning to turn color. Most were very late bearing fruit, so I have a feeling my red bells will mostly be used as green bells.


Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden


clipped on: 08.15.2008 at 02:47 pm    last updated on: 08.15.2008 at 02:47 pm

RE: Lettuce questions (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: highalttransplant on 08.02.2008 at 06:36 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

It's true that lettuce does better in cooler weather, and some will bolt at the first sign of hot weather, but there ARE some varieties that are heat tolerant.

You may want to try one of these varieties next summer:

Jericho (Romaine)
Slobolt (Grand Rapids type)
New Red Fire
Simpson Elite

Fedco Seeds offers a special Summer Lettuce Mix that is supposed to be very heat tolerant. I would check there, or Pinetree Garden Seeds, or Territorial Seed Company for the varieties listed above.

I pulled my lettuce a couple of weeks ago, and started seed indoors for a fall crop. Our temps are hovering close to 100, so I'm waiting for it to cool down, at least into the 80's, before planting out my fall crop.



clipped on: 08.08.2008 at 02:35 am    last updated on: 08.08.2008 at 02:35 am

RE: How Do I Prevent Wilt Next Year? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: nandina on 08.02.2008 at 01:29 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Some random thoughts on your thoughts above.

1. Yup, there is negative feedback on this Forum. Happened to me again the other day. I didn't bother to answer.

2. Over the years I have introduced ideas into GardenWeb that are now standard practice. You mentioned cornmeal which I have experimented with on a grand scale. Thanks to those willing to experiment further we now know that cornmeal is the only effective control for lawn Brown Patch. It has numerous other applications and from the mail I have received does aid in discouraging fungus problems on tomatoes when sprinkled around plants and/or used as a cornmeal tea spray every two weeks. If nothing else it adds a gentle supply of nitrogen to the 'maters. Corn meal gluten has no effect on tomatoes but does provide about a 70% effective organic weed control when applied in the early spring to lawns.

3. I have been on the lookout for reports on Messenger and Actiniguard. No positive results reported for either that I can find to date. So, the search continues for a possible 'something' that might encourage a plant's immune system to strengthen, allowing it to resist various fungal and bacterial diseases. Tomatoes certainly are good test plants as they are vulnerable to many diseases. I suspect that in a lab somewhere genes are being manipulated in an attempt to find the illusive answer.

4. When the idea of using aspirin as an immune strengthener hit the popular press there were no guidlines given. After experimenting with weaker formulas for two years with about a 25% success rate I decided to try the formula and preparation method given above. It may have merit based on my observations so far. All I can do is toss the idea out to those interested in testing and wait for reports back.


Experiment with Aspirin?
clipped on: 08.07.2008 at 03:57 am    last updated on: 08.08.2008 at 01:33 am

RE: Eggplant variety that is not bitter? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: chagrin on 08.04.2008 at 11:59 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Eileen, after much experimentation (and I eat a ton of eggplant), I've settled on Ichiban and Turkish Orange as I find they don't need pre-soaking. And both are very prolific producers. As has been suggested above, don't let any eggplant get "catalog picture large" before you eat them.


clipped on: 08.05.2008 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2008 at 01:59 pm

My Square Foot Garden History, Building ,Pics and Progress

posted by: mike_in_paradise on 07.22.2008 at 10:41 am in Square Foot Gardening Forum

I am just creating this post so I can detail the history and progress of my square foot garden along with construction pictures and progress pictures. It is very much a work in progress but I enjoy seeing other pictures and progress and thought I should share as I have just been lurking.

How it looks a week or so ago.

Image Hosted by
By mikeinparadise

It is on a property that we will eventually build a house and move to but currently has an old cabin on it. It is 5 acres across from the Atlantic ocean where we have a very short growing season. Little sunshine and ridiculously high wind very frequently. Frost dates are June 6th to September 29th.

Free Image Hosting at

The place was overgrown and basically a garbage dump out back when we started. (What were we thinking!)

This a view of where the square foot garden is now.

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After some cleanup. Inset show location.

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I started out 2 years ago with a traditional garden down by a creek on the property, Last summer we had a tropic storm come by, one of those 50 year storms and it flooded the creek on the property and destroyed the garden last summer.

Sigh! Good bye all that hard work!!!

Free Image Hosting at

Next post I will show constructing the square foot garden


clipped on: 08.05.2008 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2008 at 12:18 pm

How do you keep vegetable gardening groove in the off season??

posted by: dancinglemons on 11.19.2007 at 02:37 am in Four Season Vegetable Gardening Forum

Saw this post on another forum and most of the answers were about non-edibles. Thought I would post here to see what folks who have "spring & summer only" growing seasons do in the so called "off" season.

I have a not been able to give up my addiction to veggie gardening so I just this year set up a really small hydroponic garden in my basement to grow romaine and chard.

What are you doing??



clipped on: 08.04.2008 at 10:41 pm    last updated on: 08.04.2008 at 10:41 pm

RE: Green Garlic/Spring Garlic? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: catherine_nm on 06.20.2008 at 11:58 am in Four Season Vegetable Gardening Forum

Garlic doesn't produce real seed, but hardneck garlics do put up a stalk that has top-sets on it, called bulbils. I plant some bulbils every fall, along with some cloves from mature garlic bulbs, but only to increase my stock. The bulbils will produce very small "rounds" the next summer, not the "spring garlic" you are looking for.

So here's what you want to do. To get mature garlic bulbs, plant the garlic cloves in the fall. I plant mine in October, then pile the bed with chopped leaves and cover the whole thing with a layer of pine straw to hold the leaves down in windy weather. Harvest the next June or July when about half of the leaves turn yellow. To get Spring Garlic, plant the cloves (from mature bulbs) in the early spring when you plant lettuce, etc. Add a layer of composted manure (onions and garlic like nitrogen). Harvest when the leaves get big enough to look interesting, but certainly by the time the leaves start to yellow. Eat the bulb, or replant the rounds in the fall for a mature crop.

Hope that helps.



clipped on: 08.04.2008 at 09:59 pm    last updated on: 08.04.2008 at 09:59 pm

RE: Cheap/Free Raised Circular Beds (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: Garden_Fever_Girl on 04.07.2005 at 10:51 am in Frugal Gardening Forum

I just went to the landscaping supply yard this last weekend where a very helpful gal said that they sell the "little pieces" of flagstone for 5 cents each! Or sometimes if you show the guys what you have they will just give them to you-- see most people only want the large pieces and the other little peices get wedged in with the bigger ones- so they don't want them around, but I want them for walkways, and perhaps even building stone walls, stack lots of them up or put them upright and cement them into place. We are starting from scratch with all new construction and with all the initial costs of landcaping in a year before the HOA turns on us, this seems like a great option!!


clipped on: 08.03.2008 at 05:20 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2008 at 05:21 pm

growing garlic

posted by: greengrass1 on 07.31.2008 at 09:53 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

My garlic is unusually small this yr. My area was inundated with rain over a two week period and I was wondering if it was just too wet for good growth. The plants are dying back which indicates that it's time for harvest. Should i harvest now or will they grow more now that conditions have dried?


clipped on: 08.02.2008 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2008 at 09:03 pm

Standout varieties so far this 2008 season

posted by: vall3fam on 07.30.2008 at 12:34 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I wanted to try several paste and canning types this season. With over three weeks into the tomato season for us, my favorite so far is Opalka. By far, this is the best producer, with consistent production and size of tomatoes. The flavor is excellent. I've put up 7 pints of salsa and 15 pints of marinara sauce in the last week from just two plants production with more on the way.

Heidi is also looking good, but is a little behind the Opalkas. Will have a large amount off of the one plant I have. Tastes wonderful.

Thanks to Carolyn for suggesting these varieties for me to try. They are doing very well in our hot, dry summer climate and will return for a repeat performance next year.

My best beefsteak, for the second year running, is Neves Azorean Red. Huge, meaty fruits. Yum! Also, Nebraska Wedding isn't disappointing us either.

What's good for you this year?



clipped on: 08.01.2008 at 06:18 am    last updated on: 08.01.2008 at 06:19 am

RE: Question on using Urine as fertilizer (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jroot on 07.26.2008 at 06:34 am in Frugal Gardening Forum

You should check out the compost forum. There has been a lot of talk about the use of urine.

Fresh urine is supposedly fairly neutral in bacteria, apparently, or so I've been told. However, once it is sitting around ( as it would in your rain barrel ), the bad bacteria grow rapidly. Personally I would not encourage you to do that.

Urine in a compost bin works wonders. It really heats up and composts much faster.

Straight urine on plants will cause burning. Diluted urine gives good nitrogen to the plant, and acid for those acid loving plants like Rhodos.

Check out the comopost forum for more information. ... and whatever you do, don't let your neighbours catch you peeing on your plants, ... or theirs.


clipped on: 08.01.2008 at 03:17 am    last updated on: 08.01.2008 at 03:17 am

Plant from the produce department?

posted by: arden_nj on 06.06.2003 at 05:03 pm in Frugal Gardening Forum

What have you grown from stuff you've gotten at the grocery store? I read about the leeks and scallions giving up a second crop. I'm going to try them.

I've grown horseradish, and watercress and mint that I've bought at the grocery store. What else works?


clipped on: 08.01.2008 at 02:46 am    last updated on: 08.01.2008 at 02:47 am

RE: Plant from the produce department? (Follow-Up #59)

posted by: kev56 on 02.20.2004 at 03:12 pm in Frugal Gardening Forum

I've had what I think is better than average luck with avacados. Out of 7 or 8 that I tried, 4 have come up. I use the same procedure on all of them. Small container about 4" high and 2" or so dia. I scrape just a bit off the flat end of the pit. This is the end where the roots come out and the scraping makes it just a bit easier. Then jam some toothpicks or the tines of plastic forks in and suspend in the water. Keep it watered. Once the roots get about 2 to 3 inches long, transplant in a mix of peat, topsoil, sand and perhaps some perlite or vermiculite. After about 6 or so leaves sprout, pinch off the little nub at top. This will cause the plant to send out a two braches rather than a long skinny one. I plan on putting the next few pits I get directly into the pot and keeping it moist. I kinda doubt they need to be sprouted in water. YMMV


How to start growing an avacado seed
clipped on: 07.31.2008 at 03:59 pm    last updated on: 07.31.2008 at 04:00 pm

paper towel method

posted by: jerome69 on 07.01.2008 at 06:50 am in Growing from Seed Forum

how do you use wet paper towels to germinate seeds? will use this method to start begonias.


clipped on: 07.31.2008 at 12:21 am    last updated on: 07.31.2008 at 12:21 am

RE: help with planting dates for fall/winter cover crops in north (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: denninmi on 07.30.2008 at 10:56 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Really, I think I'd get them all planted sometime in August -- the bigger they get before the weather kills them off in probably mid-November (whenever the lows fall into the mid-teens for the first time), the more green manure biomass you'll have. Probably anytime from about August 15th to around Labor Day would work for all of the above, giving them plenty of growth time, but not so much time that they're already done and rotted down by time of freeze up. The goal is to have a LOT of plant matter to keep down the weeds, then have it freeze off and make a self-mulching bed until spring, when you can mow and then till it in.

I don't know how you would sow the peas over/through the oaks without a lot of hand work -- you could manually plant seeds through the oats, but that would be various laborious. If you scattered over the top and keep it very wet, they MIGHT root in and grow, but I suspect birds and animals would eat most of them. I'd just mix them together and sow at the same time if it were me.

The peas are a good idea because they fix nitrogen. You might want to mix a legume with the radishes, too, for the same reason. Other good ones that won't survive the winter in your climate are annual alfalfa and crimson clover, both widely available. Favas are good, too, but expensive, because the seed is very large, would take a lot of fava seeds, probably at least six or eight pounds, to do a green manure on a 1/4 acre of ground.


clipped on: 07.31.2008 at 12:05 am    last updated on: 07.31.2008 at 12:06 am

RE: help..lettuce seeds 101 (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: rj_hythloday on 07.30.2008 at 06:13 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I just found this yesterday

Here is a link that might be useful: how to harvest lettuce seeds


clipped on: 07.30.2008 at 07:39 pm    last updated on: 07.30.2008 at 07:39 pm

RE: Fall Garden for Kids (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: trsinc on 07.27.2008 at 07:41 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

You might want to hold up on some of those! It's still summer for many of us in zone 8 and not quite time for what "hot zone" people call winter (not fall) vegies. This is why so many people refer others to their agricultural extension agency for their area. For my area of Texas, which is quite different from some other zone 8's are, seeds: beans, corn, cucumber, garlic, potatoes, shallot, summer squash, okra, black eyed peas, new zealand and malabar spinach, winter squash.

And for the cooler things like broccoli, b. sprouts, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, fennel, kale, rutabaga, etc. - plant in pots or flats and keep them in the shade from the afternoon sun.

I just gave these as an example to demonstrate how different different places can be. Also from one zone 8 to another can differ quite a bit on what to plant when.

Some places do not have ag extensions or at least not very good ones. It's worth checking out, though.


clipped on: 07.30.2008 at 07:23 pm    last updated on: 07.30.2008 at 07:23 pm

Wick Watering

posted by: JohnVa on 12.25.2005 at 05:46 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Hi, U all,

Since I have some grossly overcrowded Balloon flowers growing in a 6 inch pot and drinking around 20 oz a day with wick watering I have begin to wonder if maybe one of the major faults of growing is insufficient water on a 24 hour basis? I do know that top watering is often the source of rot since a lot of plants don't like wet necks.

I have used wick watering on several plants over the years and all have done well with it. One plant that loves it is African Violet. One of my plant clubs several years ago had a professional AV grower as a guest speaker. I recall her stressing that AV's like crowded roots, even moisture, light fertilizer, and light.

So as an experiment in one of my offices I put 3 AV's in 2 1/4 inch pots with wicks and a continer of water under them. She had said to only water them with 1/4 strength Liquid fertilizer so that is what was in my containers. It so happened that the overhead cabinet in my office cubicle there was under some always on security lights.

So with these perfect conditions I started my experiment. My 2 1/4 inch wick watered pots did awesome. The AV's eventually got to be about a foot across and had profuse blooms mostly year round. When vistors would view them few believed they were doing so well under those circumstances.

I finally gave them away from being bored with their constant performance and continual bloom :) Growing them had ceased to be a challenge any more :)

Any one else done wick watering?



clipped on: 07.30.2008 at 03:50 am    last updated on: 07.30.2008 at 03:50 am

RE: The Dark Garden: Alternate container idea (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: legacy on 06.01.2007 at 02:13 pm in Container Gardening Forum

There are many variations of self-contained greenhouse methods already in practice I have seen.

In addition to the expensive Earthbox and self-watering planters and the adjustable gills (soil grid) from GS and various homemade models from fellow gardeners on Garden Web, the Futuregarden/Smartgardens (and hydroponic retailers) have the Autopot and the Smart Garden Planter that don't require the use of electricity. There is one outdoors guy on the Internet that sells a battery run dripline/water barrel/planter kit for apartment dwellers (no time to search for his link). The rooftopgardens project in Canada has the balcony grower, the bucket grower, the pipe garden, the barrel grower, the wick grower, and etc. Here is a link to rooftopgarden's different growers, Search for self-watering planter on or, there will be many more clear and concise DIY demos. Maybe others as well as you have more references?


clipped on: 07.29.2008 at 04:14 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2008 at 04:15 pm

RE: Interested in do-it-yourself vertical structures! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tomintenn on 11.15.2006 at 01:51 pm in Vertical Gardening Forum

I grow needlepoint ivy as topiary specimens in 5,7 and 10 gallon nursery pots using 1/4 inch hardware cloth rolled into a tube. ("hardware cloth" is basically screen wire with a 1/4 inch mesh and is available at any hardware store) You can vary the size of the tube depending on how tight you roll it. After rolling to the desired diameter, cut the cloth along the vertical axis in a manner that leaves horizontal "tabs". Bend the tabs inward to secure the roll. Put heavy drainage material - I use medium size river rock - in the bottom of the appropriate sized pot. Next put the roll in the center of the pot and fill the pot with potting soil and tamp down. Then fill the tube with peat moss, compressing and tamping as you fill. As you near the top of the tube, place a plastic drink cup with large holes in the bottom, inside the tube and fill in around it with peat moss to hide the cup. Plant with any trailing, climbing plant. Water added regularly to the cup in the top of the tube keeps the peat moss moist without making a mess and facilitates aerial root developement and attachment. You will have to train "leaders" at first to get them started on their vertical journey. I use green, plastic coated twist ties for this. If the vertical tube will be very tall and you feel the tube needs additional structural support, put a length of large diameter PVC pipe inside the wire tube before packing with peat moss. The beauty of this technique is that the wire tubes can be bent and shaped any way you desire. Tubes can be made and placed horizontally to connect one vertical tube to another for an arbor effect. You can even make the letters of the alphabet! With a little imagination, the possibilities are limitless.


Hope this helps.


clipped on: 07.29.2008 at 12:35 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2008 at 12:35 pm

Early, large and tasty ?

posted by: twrosz on 07.20.2008 at 12:53 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

My Early Girls are loaded with fruit and thriving despite the coolish summer in this part of western Canada ... but, I've heard these are only so so when it comes to flavor. Is there a similar variety ... again, meaning early and large fruited, but with also having a rich full taste?

Thanks ... Terry


clipped on: 07.28.2008 at 03:02 am    last updated on: 07.28.2008 at 03:02 am

RE: zippy tomato heat tolerant variety? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: suze9 on 07.27.2008 at 11:44 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Mountain Princess might be one to try. It's done quite well for me in the past, and this year is no exception, even after more than two months straight of temps in the high 90's and nights in the mid/high 70's. One of the few plants I still haven't pulled from spring crop because it has continued to set fruit.

I am also rather impressed with Yasenichki Yabuchar (new to me this year), in terms of both apparent heatsetting potential and taste.


clipped on: 07.28.2008 at 02:28 am    last updated on: 07.28.2008 at 02:28 am

RE: Bad soil for beans and cukes (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lorna-organic on 07.23.2008 at 11:20 pm in Soil Forum

You might have a nematode problem. You can buy beneficial nematodes which you can add to your soil. They will consume any harmful nematodes which might be there. Do a Web search on nematodes. You can purchase a can of nematodes on-line.

Marigolds are supposed to be helpful for correcting nematode problems. They are also helpful for deterring insect pests. I have French marigolds planted throughout my large produce garden, as well as some lavender and santolina for pest control. Chrysanthemums also help to repel insect pests.

You might want to consider putting in a winter cover crop which will enrich your soil with nitrogen and minerals. Something which can be dug in come spring, as a green manure. Good luck!


clipped on: 07.24.2008 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 07.24.2008 at 05:42 pm

RE: Organic Fertilizers and Pest Control (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: greenathart on 01.18.2006 at 02:35 pm in Organic Gardening Forum

I have been gardening organically for a while now and I use worm castings. Earthworms secrete a natural, totally organic soil fertilizer known as worm castings. By stimulating the natural activity of beneficial soil micro-organisms and enzymes with natural plant growth, worm castings enhance any soil and create a healthy environment for any plant no matter how delicate it is! I buy 100% organic worm castings from . To use: Simply add one part castings to 3 parts soil or top dress the soil and as you water, the nutrients will trickle into the soil. Worm castings are time released and 100% water soluble. It also makes a perfect primer for new transplants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soaps Gone Buy


clipped on: 07.24.2008 at 01:06 am    last updated on: 07.24.2008 at 01:06 am

RE: Organic Fertilizers and Pest Control (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: username_5 on 11.06.2005 at 06:16 pm in Organic Gardening Forum


While I am not a proponent of the soilless mix recommended by the Sq.Ft. Gardening method, it works just fine to grow anything and there are literally thousands of people using it. This site even has a Square Foot Gardening forum as the method has become quite popular.


Do you have the book? In it Mel gives a recipe for an organic fertilizer he recommends with his methodology and mix. I have never used such a mix, but if you want to stick with the Sq. Ft. Gardening approach entirely then this is what he recommends:

For his all purpose fert:

1 part blood meal
2 parts bone meal
3 parts wood ashes
4 parts composted leaf mold

For a high nitrogen fert it is the same ingredients and amounts except the blood meal is increased to 3 parts.

By far the leaf mold has the lowest amounts of the big 3 nutrients so it would be the one to skip if you can't find it or don't want to take the time to make it. Oddly it is the one ingredient I would most want myself. You can make it yourself by stuffing a bag full of leaves and leave it sit somewhere for a year or two.

This isn't an endorsement of the fert mix, I am just letting you know what the author of the method you are using recommends.


clipped on: 07.24.2008 at 12:49 am    last updated on: 07.24.2008 at 12:50 am

RE: Hot Weather Tomatoes (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: suze9 on 05.28.2008 at 02:53 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I'm in the same general area as you are (Austin/Bastrop), and the first week of March is a good target planting date, most of the time (subject to long-term weather forecast). Even a few days earlier if you can and are willing to protect the plants for those occasional late close calls we get. Once you get into mid-March (or later) territory, it can sometimes be a bit late. One thing I've learned to do is stagger my plantings a bit as yummykaz also mentions doing. I may put some in as early as mid-Feb, and some as late as the third wk of March or so.

Really, you could even have a few plants out in containers catching the sun and growing as soon as the second wk of Feb, just protect them or put them in the garage or whereever when temps get below 40 or so at night.

But my main/target plantout date for the bulk of my plants is Mar 5-7. Those further south can go a week or two earlier, most yrs.

Some plant a week later, some a week or so earlier, but what most folks in our area that get good fruitset have in common is that they plant out large (8-12", or larger) healthy transplants. What were the size of your transplants when you set them out in the garden?

I've found it also helps to periodically shake your plants to help them pollinate. Brandywine is one var in particular that shaking can really help with re pollination.

Recommended vars for good fruitset in the heat? Nothing is guaranteed dependable every single year here, but in general, just about any cherry or smaller fruited type. I really do feel that timing of planting (occasionally taking chances) and having large transplants is the most important factor. Having said that, here are some general recommendations:

Arkansas Traveler
Break O'Day
Big Beef
Gregori's Altai
Brandy Boy (tends to do/set better here than Brandywine)
Black Cherry
Tasmanian Blushing Yellow (may be hard to find)
Jet Star
Aunt Ginny's Purple
Cherokee Purple
Indian Stripe (similar to CP)
Green Giant
Gary O'Sena
Jaune Flammee
Sweet Quartz F1
Lime Green Salad
Sarnowski Polish Plum
Mountain Princess

just a few off the top of my head...

Fall crop is not what I would consider the main one here, but you should be able to manage a decent one most yrs. It seems to go from hot (little fruitset) to cold just like that. I always try a few larger fruited and/or later ones, but more often than not, the cherry types and early to mid sesson ones yield the best results. Again, results may vary a bit for those a little further south than us.

I start seeds for fall crop around the second or third wk of June and plant out around Aug 1. You can also take and root cuttings from your existing plants if they are in good shape and not too diseased.


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 05:22 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 05:23 am

RE: Hot Weather Tomatoes (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sautesmom on 05.25.2008 at 04:15 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Large varieties for hot weather (above 100 degrees):

Mexico, Giant Belgium, Stump of the World, Marianna's Peace, Big Beef, Brandy Boy, Boondocks

Medium varieties: Stupice, Jetsetter, Arkansas Traveler, Burgundy Traveler, Manalucie, Moskvich, Orange Russian 117 (altough these can grow to beefsteak size), Peron, Jubilee, Heidi


just about all cherry/grape tomatoes.

And FYI I have found that it does help with fruit set if you shade them in the hottest part of the day, and hose them down with cool water when the humidity is low.

Carla in Sac


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 05:04 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 05:04 am

RE: Sungold and sweet 100, do you let them grow crazy? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: suze9 on 04.15.2008 at 10:29 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

In the garden. I can't really see them as container plants as they are simply too huge by nature but I know some grow them in containers. Maybe something the size of a 55 gal. drum would work. ;)

Dave, I've successfully grown both Sweet 100 and Sungold in 14 gallon containers before. If you can find a way to support them in the container, keep them from tipping, and mulch thickly, it is do-able (with good to great results) even in a hot climate. I threw in a handful of slow release fert every couple of weeks to keep them going.

My preferred method for cherry types is to put them at the end of a raised bed, though. Much easier to keep up with and support that way, IMO. :-)


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 03:48 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 03:49 am

RE: Maximum pounds of toms per square foot in Raised Bed (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: habitat_gardener on 06.22.2008 at 03:17 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Hmm, 35-40 pounds doesn't seem like that much.

I didn't weigh my tomatoes, but I did count them the past few years. I fertilize only with compost (and some fermented comfrey tea) and plant them fairly close together with cages. We get no rain all summer, so I water once every week to 10 days. But the season is long. I plant early with protection (Feb-March) and generally get my first ones at the end of June and the last ones at the beginning of December (when they freeze), though yields and taste drop off by the end of October.

Here are some yields from 2006.
Early Girl, 261, assume at least 3 oz. each = almost 49 pounds
(and it was in part shade)
Siberia, 286, ditto, = over 53 pounds
and, for comparison, cherry tomatoes
Galinas, 1366, at least 1/2 ounce each = 42 pounds
(also in a shadier location)

This year I plan to weigh them, assuming I can intercept them on the way to my mouth.


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 03:42 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 03:42 am

RE: Maximum pounds of toms per square foot in Raised Bed (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: mickyfinn6777 on 06.20.2008 at 01:49 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

The most productive variety regardless of any given space -to date, is (Guido) tried and tested in both the USA, Canada, and Europe, and most of the proffessional growers state that it quite regularly produces 35 to 40 lbs of fruit per plant, if well grown, with large tomatoes.

One of the best Canadian growers that I know- swears by it and harvests tons of tomatoes from them- the seed for it is widely distributed on most of the tomato furums seed exchange areas.


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 03:40 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 03:40 am

RE: Maximum pounds of toms per square foot in Raised Bed (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: lehua13 on 06.18.2008 at 08:24 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum


Sorry, I didn't know how to provide a link to the YouTube Video that I have had fun watching since I am new to tomatoe growing. Hopefully the URL below takes you to his website. I have learned a ton (not tomatoes yet) from his videos. His goal is maximum yield per a given area. He is using the Florida Weave. It might shed some light on your discussion. He is into week 10. He is a long time farmer in Northern California and he is documenting his maximum yield experiment on YouTube. If this link doesn't work; the name of the video is Chuck's Garden, the Won Mini Ranch, Orlando, CA #1-10. Watch all ten videos it is enlightening. I am sure he would answer any questions if contacted.

It would be great if you documented your experiment and shared with us


Here is a link that might be useful: Chuck's Garden


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 03:35 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 03:35 am

RE: Maximum pounds of toms per square foot in Raised Bed (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: digdirt on 06.14.2008 at 10:15 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

If juice and paste in the fall for canning is your main goal then the biggest producer I have ever grown in 40+ years was/is San Marzano. It's a very large paste tomato that we love for canning - both juice and sauce - produces by the bushel full.

But it is a huge indeterminate plant with exceptional production of very tasty paste tomatoes. You can let it sprawl of course but you wouldn't be able to get as many plants in the space. Growth and production amounts vary from garden to garden of course but it would sure be worth your consideration.

I am assuming you don't want to stake because of the time and work involved? Have you considered a Florida weave support system or a cattle panel? They will let you overcrowd plants easily (1-1.5') and you don't have to do any pruning with them unless you want to. Tie up the main stem and let the rest sprawl - gives you some additional vertical growing room without much effort.

Just something to consider. Check out the photos in the post linked below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Italian Tomatoes


clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 03:24 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 03:24 am