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RE: How do you root grape cuttings.. (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: glenn10 on 02.21.2011 at 07:38 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

wow you guys seem to have some really poor percentage takes:( What I do is keep cuttings refrigerated until the soil warms to at least 60F (15C)and then I get a good 3 node cane and make a fresh cut at the bottom and stick the cutting in the freshly tilled soil at a 45 degree angle ensuring two nodes are buried and just the 3rd top node sticking out of the soil(the more cane buried the less likely it will suffer water stress). after that just give it a little water every night just enough to wet the soil surface but don't go over board, it doesn't take much to rot a grape cutting .In your area I think you shouldn't have a problem keeping them hydrated with a little sprinkle at night,I seem to remember that good old Alberta black soil holding lots of moisture. Well that's it, no root hormones, no sanitizing nothing! Last year I rooted 75 cuttings of 5 varieties and lost maybe 10 and they were all in a low spot in the row where water would collect at each watering. The only variety I had trouble with in the past was Himrod, I ended up buying a plant and then air layering it there after.


clipped on: 01.10.2014 at 10:36 am    last updated on: 01.10.2014 at 10:36 am

RE: Grape propagation? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: capt44 on 07.14.2009 at 02:06 am in Plant Propagation Forum

To propagate muscadines, take several cuttings with at least 3 leaf nodes.
Bundle them together, all in the same direction.
Dig a hole and place the bundle in the hole upside down.
cover with soil and mark the location.
Next spring dig up the cuttings and they will be calloused.
Place the calloused cuttings, callous down in a bed of damp sand in a shaded area.
The callouse is where the roots will form in a few days.
It is a pretty good way to root muscadines.


clipped on: 01.10.2014 at 10:22 am    last updated on: 01.10.2014 at 10:22 am

RE: Grape propagation? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: desertdance on 07.07.2009 at 09:31 am in Plant Propagation Forum

You don't have to wait for dormant. Green Softwood Cuttings are easy and root and grow in about 9 days. Google "green softwood grapevine cuttings." I just did it, and about 80% have taken root. You need a vigorous shoot, cut it just below a leaf with about 3 leaves above. Strip all the leaves off except for the top one, and cut that in half. Then put them in wet perlite and potting soil, and keep them moist. I have some in the ground and some in pots with plastic over like little mini greenhouses. Only one has a dead leaf so far, and many are showing growth of new leaves. Very easy process to get hundreds of vines from one. Next year they will all be as big as one you planted bare root. Have fun!


Ooooops! I forgot one step for the green cuttings. Dip them in rooting hormone prior to sticking them in the potting soil.
clipped on: 01.10.2014 at 10:20 am    last updated on: 01.10.2014 at 10:20 am

RE: Grape propagation? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: desertdance on 07.07.2009 at 09:59 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

Ooooops! I forgot one step for the green cuttings. Dip them in rooting hormone prior to sticking them in the potting soil.


clipped on: 01.10.2014 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 01.10.2014 at 10:19 am

RE: Saving figs from theft (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: kngskid on 03.24.2013 at 01:43 am in Fig Forum

I use Tangle Foot to control ants in my peach trees but you do not want to put this stuff directly on your trees. I tie a thin strip of Tree Wrap around the tree and coat that with the tangle foot. It controls the ants very well be it's extremely messy to put on and to remove at the end of the season. Bet it will work for you figs as well.


clipped on: 03.27.2013 at 12:43 am    last updated on: 03.27.2013 at 12:43 am

RE: Is it possible to grow fig tree in the ground in Zone 5? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: dieseler on 04.05.2012 at 04:22 pm in Fig Forum

Grandmother grew a fig tree inground in the 1960s and uncles would tie with burlap then dig around base and bend it over into a deep dug trench, they then covered with plywood and shoveled dirt ontop of that.
When complete it look like a fresh grave in cemetery.
The wood made it easier to dig up following year without shovel damage to tree.
Tree grew in Chicago .


clipped on: 03.10.2013 at 11:14 am    last updated on: 03.10.2013 at 11:14 am

RE: Best way to handle runoff from gritty mix? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: Ohiofem on 03.06.2013 at 08:29 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Without excessive run-off, I'm not convinced all of the bark and Turface are adequately soaked.

In my experience, the gritty mix picks up and holds more water than is immediately obvious. I have a lot of large plants in 5-10 gallon pots of gritty mix, some of which weigh 30 to 40 pounds when well watered, so I need help to lift them. They are all in drainage saucers that are 3-4 inches deep and 4-6 inches wider in diameter than the pots. I water them only about once every two weeks. I start by slowly pouring one to two quarts of plain water in the pot carefully distributed across the surface. About 10 minutes later, I slowly pour in another two to four quarts (depending on the pot size) with full strength foliage pro in it. I watch to see how much water drains into the saucer. I allow as much as two inches to collect in the saucer. Most of the time, the water will be absorbed back into the pot within 10-20 minutes. About once every 6 weeks or so, I water enough to almost fill the saucer. After about 20 minutes, I use turkey baster to remove excess water. Sometimes I get help from my DH to lift the pot out of the saucer long enough to pour excess water into a large pail.

This is obviously not the ideal way to handle watering since the mix is not flushed each time I water. But in the six months my plants must live in a centrally heated house with fairly low light, they grow slowly. But they do grow with this regimen. They don't lose leaves or develop signs of inadequate watering. These compromises work for me. And I think they work for my plants.

When my plants were in a more water retentive mix, I had no problems with excess runoff. My plants in gritty mix are actually getting flushed out more often than they were under my old regimen. And they definitely look better at the end of their six months indoors than the ones I had in peat-based mixes.


clipped on: 03.08.2013 at 07:55 pm    last updated on: 03.08.2013 at 07:55 pm

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: 03.02.2013 at 06:29 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 06:29 pm

Easy Propagation Chamber

posted by: little_dani on 10.05.2005 at 08:34 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I make a little propagation chamber that is so easy, and so reliable for me that I thought I would share the idea. I have not seen one like it here, and I did look through the FAQ, but didn't find one there either. I hope I did not miss it, and I hope I do not offend anyone by being presumptive in posting this here.

That said....

This is what you will need.
A plastic shoebox, with a lid. They come in various sizes, any will do.

Soil less potting mix, half peat, half perlite, or whatever is your favorite medium.
A little clay pot, with the drain hole plugged with caulking or silicone. If this is a new pot, scrub it with some steel wool to be sure it doesn't have a sealer on it. You want the water to seep through it.
Rooting hormone powder or liquid, or salix solution from the willow tree.
Plant material, snippers. I am going to pot some Plectranthus (a tall swedish ivy) and a Joseph's Coat, 'Red Thread'. I already have some succulents rooted in this box. I will take them out and pot them up later, DH has a new cacti pot he wants to put them in.
You can see here, I hope, that I fill the clay pot to the top with rain water, well water, or distilled water. I just don't use our tap water, too much chlorine and a ph that is out of sight.

I pour a little of the hormone powder out on a paper plate or a piece of paper, so that I don't contaminate the whole package of powder. And these little 'snippers' are the best for taking this kind of cuttings.

This is about right on the amount of hormone to use. I try to get 2 nodes per cutting, if I can. Knock off the excess. It is better to have a little too little than to have too much.
Then, with your finger, or a pencil, or stick, SOMETHING, poke a hole in the potting mix and insert your cutting. Pull the potting mix up around the cutting good and snug.

When your box is full, and I always like to pretty much fill the box, just put the lid on it, and set it in the shade. You don't ever put this box in the sun. You wind up with boiled cuttings. YUK!

Check the cuttings every few days, and refill the reservoire as needed. Don't let it dry out. If you happen to get too wet, just prop the lid open with a pencil for a little while.
This is a very good method of propagation, but I don't do roses in these. The thorns just make it hard for me, with my big fingers, to pack the box full. All kinds of other things can be done in these. Just try it!



clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 06:23 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 06:23 pm

RE: Container Soils and Your Plant's Nutrition (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tapla on 11.02.2011 at 04:01 pm in Plumeria Forum

Ohh - thank you both for the kindness. I appreciate it.

Here is a picture of the soil I grow all my woody material in, as well as my houseplants:
Growers on the forums have hung 'the gritty mix' on it as their chosen descriptive name.

Size of the particles in container media, as well as their stability (ability to resist the microbes that want to break down soil particles and make sure you're growing in soup) is what determines their structure for the immediate and the long term. Keep that word in mind (structure). It's a key word when it comes to making a determination about how readily a soil will support good growth and vitality.

Here you see pine and fir bark that is excellent as the primary fraction of 1 type of soil that growers on the forums have tagged with the label 'the 5:1:1 mix'. The dry 5:1:1 mix is in the middle.

If anyone is interested, and hasn't read it, there is a thread about container media that describes how water behaves in container soils. I hope you'll take the time to read it, not because I wrote it, but because I think an understanding of the information in it probably represents the largest forward step a container grower can make in the short time it takes to assimilate what is in it. Plus you have the opportunity to ask questions if you aren't quite getting something.


Here is a link that might be useful: Click me and I'll take you to MUCH more about container soils!


clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 11:21 am    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 11:22 am

Al's Gritty Mix -- A Learning Experinece

posted by: Jessicasgrowincitrus on 03.10.2011 at 10:28 am in Container Gardening Forum

I came to this forum a few weeks ago in an attempt to find out why my less than a year-old Meyer Lemon was dropping some of its leaves. The older leaves were turning yellow and falling off. Having never owned any plant other than the house plants you can get at Fred Meyer that dangle down (I am not even sure what they are called!! But I always seemed to have had success with them.) I was very concerned.

Buying a citrus I knew would be a jump for me and I was ready to take on the responsibility of doing it right, but I needed some help figuring out what was wrong. When I bought my tree I researched lighting, watering, fertilizer, temperature and its soil needs but it was still failing. Devastated I was going to loose my tree I turned to this forum.

After reading several forums I was still a bit confused. I was not confident that I had discovered the exact root of my problem, and was not sure how to ask the proper questions on the forums to get this figured out. So I reached out to Meyer Mike for some guidance and possible mentoring me on Meyer Lemon and my new found citrus obsession. He has been such a HUGE help!

After tweaking my lighting situation and evaluating the history of problems I have had with my tree (I won't go into detail about my Gnats, or Spider Mite experiences, but lets just say the next time those things come around -- I will be ready for them!) we discovered my error: I made the biggest rookie move possible. I planted my tree in plain ol' Miracle Grow Potting Soil..... :( Hey-- I get some credit, I did add a ton of Perolite to it. I thought that would be enough to make it "well draining soil".
So the hunt for the proper soil components began. I live in the Washington State and I noticed that most of the people participating on this forum are from the East coast, so I was having a very hard time finding the ingredients needed for Al's 1:1:1 Gritty Mix.

I have decided that seeing how I was so lucky to have so many people generously jump in to assist me and answer my questions (even going as far as personally answering my tons of emails, texts and phone calls on the side!!!!) It is time I pay it forward and put all I have learned into one post for people in Washington State/ the greater Pacific Northwest area to see where they can get the ingredients required for the 1:1:1 Gritty mix and how to put it all together.

Hopefully someday, someone will come along and find all they need right here. :)

Thanks all for helping to ensure I have many more years of successfully citrus growing ahead of me! I am very grateful.

~Jessica's Growin' Citrus

The three components needed for Al's Gritty mix are a 1:1:1 ratio of:
1 part Bark Fines
1 part Turface
1 part Granite

You may also need a bag of "Gypsum - Calcium Sulfate" IF you are NOT using Foliage Pro 9:3:6. If you have chosen to use Foliage Pro as your fertilizer you will not need the calcium. (The Foliage Pro is HIGHLY recommended by several experienced growers on these forums! I had to buy mine on line, it is not available in stores in my area.)

Now before I go any further I must put out my **disclaimer**: This is the process I went through to create my gritty mix. I am going to list all the alternative ingredients that I came across and where I found the ingredients I decided on. I know others may have additional opinions or suggestions on what worked for them, and I welcome them to voice their opinions here as well so that we all might learn together. Hopefully this mix will work for you too.

This is just my two cents.

Put on your working boots and get to it!


The bark fines need to be un-composted and between 1/8"-1/4" in size. (1/8-1/4 if using Fir bark & 1/8-3/8 if using Pine bark.)

The goal of this soil is to have a 1:1:1 ratio of partials, with each partial being just about the same size. (The bark is going to be averaging about the same size as your biggest piece of granite and Turface.)
I went with the suggestion to use Repti Bark. It is an un-composted pine bark that is used in reptile tanks. You can buy Repti Bark at Petco or Pets Mart. It comes in two size bags ranging from $8.99ish to $16.99ish here in the Pacific Northwest.

The bark is almost perfect right out of the bag, but some of the partials are a little too big, I would suggest putting the bark in between two sheets, or in a sturdy garbage bag spread about 1 layer thick and pound the larger pieces until they meet the 1/8-1/4 size requirement. I know people have used it as-is right out of the bag, but it was suggested to me that I make the pieces just a little smaller to ensure that they will go in-between all the roots. If you do not, then you run the risk of air pockets in your root ball.

You will then want to sift your bark to get out the very finest partials and dust. I used my Bonsai sieve with the 1/8" screen and insect screen on top of that to filter my pine bark.

You should have very little bark fine waste.

**Be sure to soak your bark for at least an hour before use in your pots! Otherwise you may find you are having to water your newly transplanted plants allot initially.


Granite was harder to find in my area than the bark. Really hard actually.

What you are looking for is "Chicken Grit" (not "Chick" grit that is too small) it is commonly referred to as size #2 or "Growers Size" Grit. The Chicken grit should average 1/8"- 1/4" in size.

I found several feed stores in my area that had Chicken Grit with calcium added and Chicken Grit made out of other types of rock but the grit with calcium was going to throw off the Ph in my soil, and honestly I did not want to play mad scientist all the time trying to get the Ph, just right, so I decided to wait until I found the correct grit. Just straight-crushed granite.

Some people have used other types of grit with success as well. Cherrystone Grit is common too. I am sure that would work just as well if you can not find pure granite grit. I went with pure granite grit.

Sift your granite to remove the smallest partials and dust. You should also rinse your granite to remove even more dust partials.

I ended up finding my granite by happy accident at De Young's Farm and Garden in Woodinville. (They are right next door to Molbaks off NE175th St) Their phone number is: (425) 483-9600. I was going to Molbaks one morning to buy my Mason bees and their reader board read that the chicks were in. Well, chicks need Chicken Grit! So I stopped in and sure enough -- BINGO!-- They had just what I needed!!! They do not have a web site, so I had no idea they were even there! SCORE!

They also carry Turface from time to time. Unfortunately they will not have it this season because they were stuck with a lot of it after last season and are not sure there is enough demand to keep it in stock.... But is worth asking if they happen to have any in stock if you are going all the way up there to get your granite!

On the right is the sifted Granite Grit, on the left are the smaller partials that will not be used.


Also VERY hard to find. :( I am not sure if it is because of the time of year that I am looking for it or not (late winter/early spring) but I came very close to ordering it on line and having it mailed to me!

Luckily Josh jumped in on the forum and told me that I can get it through Ewing Irrigation here in Washington (Oregon too?)! They have several locations to choose from and carry Turface year round! YAY! Their web site is: (Roughly $15.00 per bag)
**If you can not find Turface near you a possible alternative is Napa Floor Dry #8822 from Napa Auto Parts. ($8.99 or so) Be sure to wear a long sleeves and a mask when sifting floor dry. There will be a lot of partials in the air.

You will need to screen your Turface as well. I used my 1/8 screen. Unfortunately you will have a lot of waste with the Turface. About half the bag ended up in my yard. :( It may be worth it to pick up two bags while you are there) I panicked and called Mike to verify that I should be sifting out that much!

On the left is the sifted Turface, on the right are the smaller partials that will not be used.

This is my Line up:

This is my Bonsai Sieve. You can find these at Bonsai supply stores and on line. There is only one Bonsai store I could find and it is in Tukwila, but I was impatient and ordered mine on EBay. (The sieve cost roughly $30.00! - But it is the perfect tool for the job!) You could also make your own sieve or use different size strainers from the grocery store.

I would also recommend picking up some Drywall Tape (or something) to cover the holes in the bottom of your pot so your soil does not slip out the bottom. Drywall tape is the perfect solution.

My workspace. See all the Turface and granite lost to the yard? Be prepared. I should have put down a tarp to capture it�. And yes, I was working late into the night to get this finished!

TA DA! My assembled 1:1:1 Gritty Mix!

I mixed up a bunch of extra and stored it in a bin in my garage in anticipation of getting more citrus in the next few months. :)


clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 11:17 am    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 11:17 am

Supplies by State/Region: Al's Gritty Mix

posted by: greyslate on 04.06.2009 at 07:17 pm in Container Gardening Forum

When starting out looking for the supplies for Al�s Gritty Mix, I ran into some walls. Aided by the indomitable tapla;), I was lucky enough to find everything needed. I thought that we could start a thread in which everyone who is using the Gritty Mix posts where they found supplies � in order to help out new converts in their area. I�ve started with some Maryland information � please follow-up with what you�ve found!

If you�re still looking, and no one�s posted/found supplies in your area, use these tips from tapla:
Grani-grit � "Go to MSN Yellow Pages; Enter Grain Elevator under 'Business name or category'; Enter Location under 'Location'; Call those businesses with 'grain', 'elevator', or 'farming services' after the bold 'category'; Ask for crushed granite grower grit. If they say they have it, be sure it is crushed granite before you head out to pick it up. It might be helpful to ask if it is packaged under the name 'Gran-I-Grit'." I also got lucky looking under "feed suppliers/stores" ...
Turface � Use the website to find local distributors:

State/Region/Province: Maryland (Central/North)
Turface: Newsom Seed Company, locations in Fulton and Gaithersburg (sells by the 50# bag),
Grani-Grit: The Mill, Parkton (Does not normally stock it, but readily orders it for no extra fee; will sell small quantities) (410) 329-6558
Bark fines: "GardenPro, Premium Bark Mulch" from Lowe�s (must be sifted through screens for size, but decent to start with)


clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 11:12 am    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 11:13 am

RE: Suggestions on mailing fig cuttings (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: wisner on 02.28.2013 at 09:10 pm in Fig Forum

I would ship them before the buds open up. You can put them in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel or damp spagnum moss. I would cut them 6-8 inches right below a node. The post office has priority boxes free that fit an 8 inch cuttings for $5.35 shipping.


clipped on: 03.02.2013 at 11:01 am    last updated on: 03.02.2013 at 11:02 am

RE: No Answer UC Davis (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: ajwalsh on 08.27.2010 at 02:06 am in Fig Forum

I did the same; for the box, "Describe your planned research use of this NPGS Germplasm", I just put "Cultivation" and submitted my order electronically. I received confirmation through email within minutes. I tried to order something else (Bababerry cuttings) in the past using this method, and it went through. But, I didn't get the cuttings due to crop failure or something of that nature (I don't remember why, it's been a few years now). They kept in touch with me through email to let me know. So, I'm pretty sure that your order will go through if you send it electronically.


clipped on: 03.01.2013 at 07:04 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2013 at 07:04 pm