Clippings by janlep

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Way OT

posted by: rich_manure on 12.06.2006 at 06:28 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

I found this on my laptop today and just couldn't resist sharing, I thought is was hilarious. One thing I can't recall is where I got it so if it was from this forum I apologize in advance.

Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns:
God: Hey St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect "no maintenance" garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. The begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it... sometimes twice a week.
God: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?
St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
St. Francis: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
God: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
St. Francis: Yes, Sir.
God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
St. Francis: You are not going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.
St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. The haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
God: And where do they get this mulch?
St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
God: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. Sister Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
Sister Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a real stupid movie about.....
God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.


clipped on: 12.11.2006 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 12.11.2006 at 10:57 pm

RE: Easy propagation method (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: plumfan on 07.13.2006 at 06:23 pm in Fig Forum

I have had the finest of luck just keeping fig cuttings refrigerated over the winter. Then come spring I just dig a shallow trench, like 1.5 inches deep, lay a cutting in the bottom, and crumble soil back over the top of the cutting. Works every time. I just let them grow in that position for a summer and then transfer them to their final spots during the winter. Sometimes I even start the cuttings in this manner right where I want the fig to grow, now that is lazy!

I find that cuttings are less prone to dry out when planted horizontally under the dirt, plus they are shallow enough that the sun warms them. This is ideal conditions for rooting.

You could not pay me to mess around with vermiculite, perlite and all that other stuff. Too much bother!

When a tree gets big enough to make new treelets, sometimes I take the lower branches, in early summer, and weight them down to the ground with a brick or largish rock. Have even used a milk jug full of water. By summers end, they are well rooted and then I start plotting to find people that need to start growing figs! LOL Naturally, the people around me are pretty saturated.


clipped on: 12.10.2006 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 12.10.2006 at 05:41 pm

Easy propagation method

posted by: leon_edmond on 05.21.2006 at 02:00 am in Fig Forum

I may have posted this before but I've read a number of threads relating to poor outcomes with rooting cuttings.
I experimented this season again and much to my disbelief, I had very poor success trying to root fig cuttings in various mixes of perlite and vermiculite.
The best outcomes I've had is rooting my fig cuttings in a plastic bag. I wrap my cuttings individually in moist, double-layer paper towel. I place this in a ziplock bag and label it. Then I place all of these bags in a covered, but nontransparent container, like a tupperware box. I keep this in a fairly warm area, like my garage.
I check the cuttings every 4 or so days to make sure that fungi hasn't developed. If it has, just discard the cutting. Chances are, you won't get rid of the fungus.
Once root growth is obvious, I pot the cutting up in potting soil and cover with a plastic bag until leafing looks good. At that point, I wean away the plasic tent and let them grow in the shade for the rest of the season.
You can't imagine how quick some of these cuttings can root in this warm, wet incubator.


clipped on: 12.10.2006 at 05:40 pm    last updated on: 12.10.2006 at 05:40 pm

RE: Easy propagation method (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: elder on 07.15.2006 at 12:33 pm in Fig Forum

Sherry (et all): The containers I use are called Sterilite, the dimensions are 13" x 8" x 3 1/2". The basic mix is 1/2 Perlite and 1/2 Pro-mix, barely damp (excess dampness causes rot). I use about 2 1/2" of the mix, and put the cutting just under the top of the mix, horizontally. No need to drill any holes, just snap on the lid and keep them warm. No direct sunlight, this will cook them. Yes, I use one cultivar per container, and you can label it on the lid.
These containers are very convenient - they will stack room high (if you're a circus clown), and when roots start to grow you can see them on the sides and the bottom.
When actual bud growth exceeds the height of the lid, just take off the lid; at this time you might have to water, but slightly! When you think your new plants are ready to be put in pots just slowly add water and pour off until you have freed the plants from your mix. I have gotten three little plants from one ten inch cutting, and two plants per cutting is very common.
It is worth repeating - make the soil mix just BARELY DAMP!!!.....Elder (Lou)


clipped on: 12.10.2006 at 05:39 pm    last updated on: 12.10.2006 at 05:40 pm

Easy - How to Root Softwood Cuttings

posted by: jimmyjojo on 12.01.2006 at 11:15 am in Plant Propagation Forum

How to Propagate Plants by Softwood Cutting

Ive have had a lot of success rooting softwood cuttings of plants that dont produce much or any seed. This is my humble process.

Ive tried this method on a number of different plant species including tropical houseplants. On some it works great and others not so good or not at all. The fun part is experimenting!

The basic idea is to keep the stem of the cutting alive until a callous and roots can form. This is called asexual propagation (a means without) or cloning, as apposed to sexual propagation which is by seed. And "softwood" means this years growth that hasnt toughened to hard or semi-hardwood yet.

There are many methods and types of equipment you can use. However, this is the method I use and its currently working well for my plant needs.

Points to keep in mind before you start:

1) Use a sharp knife or pruning shears. Ones that wont crush the end the roots will be generated from. A clean cut will preserve the cells close to the surface.

2) Clean your knife or shears with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol or water and bleach (10:1), before you start to make cuttings. Fungus and bacteria can rot a cutting before it has a chance to form roots.

3) Its best to take cuttings during a time of year when the plant is in full growth mode, usually early to mid-summer. Actually any time of year other than full dormancy is OK, but the more vigorous its growing at the time of cutting the higher percentage of success youll have. Again experiment, some plants will root fine from late September cuttings kept under grow lights.

4) Take healthy cuttings, strong, disease and insect damage free.

5) The leaf or leaves left on the cutting stem will continue to provide moisture and energy "juice" until roots have formed. So you have to cut off all the extra leaves and flower buds and only leave one or two leaves at the top. Some plants have large leaves compared to their stem diameter and you can cut them in half width wise.

6) Cutting length varies from plant to plant. Most will grow roots from 3 to 4 inch cuttings. Some need 6 inches and others are so hardy only an inch stem and one half of a mature leaf are required.

7) The bottom of the stems will rot if they are wet. So the idea is to lightly mist the leaves and keep the air in the seed tray and dome moist without getting the perlite mix and stems wet.

8) When taking cutting they should be taken quickly and not allowed to dry out, keep moist and out of the sun.

9) The cuttings need bright light but not direct sun

10) The rooting hormone has a shelf life and should not be contaminated, keep cool and dry and out of direct sun. Ideally, it will last a couple of years.

11) Go to the library. Ive found most if not all of this information from library books and "Not the Internet". One of my favourite books is "Secrets of Plant Propagation" by Lewis Hill.

12) Lastly, Experiment. The best way to learn this is by trial and error. The best conditions for each species will become second nature after a while.

Youll need:

- A bag of Perlite ("white popcorn", naturally occurring silicous volcanic rock), you can add vermiculite and a little soilless mix but remember we want it light and airy and not wet

- Plastic seed growing tray with a high 6" clear plastic dome top

- 1 to 8 - Plastic plant pots 3 or 4 inch with drain holes, cleaned with water and
bleach 100:1) I use clean cottage cheese containers

- Clean sharp shears

- Hand squeeze spray bottle with clean water

- Softwood cutting rooting hormone powder (Stim-Root No.1 0.1% Indole-3-butyric acid)

- Dibbler a clean stick or pencil to make a hole in the perlite mix to put the cutting into


Clean your tools, pots and tray. Fill the pots with the perlite and put them into the seed tray. Harvest the cuttings from the plant taking longer cuttings then needed. At a worktable out of the hot sun, pour a little of the powder out on a napkin. Cut off the extra leaves on the stem of the cutting leaving one or two good leaves. Make a fresh cut on the stem touch it into the powder tap off the excess powder and with the dibbler make a hole in the perlite and push the stem in an inch or so. Each pot will hold 4 or 5 cuttings. When youre finished preparing the cuttings mist the leaves and dome and cover the tray. Put the tray in an area that gets bright light but not direct sun light. Mist the cuttings daily or in very hot times of the year twice daily, morning and night. Roots will usually form in 3 to 6 weeks. Some annual vines like wave petunias and ivy root in as little as two weeks. To check for roots lightly tug on the cuttings if resistance, then you have roots. Let the root grow to a length and thickness that will sustain the size of the stem (experiment). Usually new leaf buds will start to grow at this time too. Then pot them up in clean pots and new potting soil and water with a mild transplant fertilizer. And slowly introduce them to the sun over a week or so.

Additionally, if you get a "jiffy" style seed heating pad (Wal-M in January) to provide bottom warmth you may get roots a little faster on some species.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Perlite, Clean sharp cutting knife or clippers, dibbler stick, rooting hormone, seedling tray and most importantly the 6" high dome cover to keep the leaves humid.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Hand mister, seed tray and dome, plant heating pad for winter and early spring rooting, and the cuttings. There are way too many cuttings in there but I cant help myself.

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    Cuttings can vary in length. Some plants root from the leaf nodes others need a longer than this. But cut off the flower buds and small leaves to promote root growth. This is a Salvia elegans cutting.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Once the roots are an inch or two long pot it up. I use small 2 1/2" pots and a light potting mix and water with a weak transplant fertilizer. It may need to be kept in the dome for another week or so after that. Then introduce to the sun gradually.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    And there you have it! Your results may vary :)


clipped on: 12.10.2006 at 02:51 pm    last updated on: 12.10.2006 at 02:51 pm