Clippings by mountainy_man

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It's August and time for the 'toothpick' technique

posted by: nandina on 08.23.2006 at 01:13 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I have not posted this propagation method in several years. Time for a repeat. Just a reminder that all cuttings need to callus before they will root. This method allows the callusing to take place on the mother plant before the cutting is removed and is most helpful for those hard to root trees/shrubs. Plan to use the toothpick technique during the last weeks of August up until mid-September. This is a little known process and when I first posted it a number of growers contacted me, pleased to know about it as it requires no misting systems, etc.

A very sharp, small penknife or Exacto knife.
A small block of wood (to prevent cutting fingers!)
Some colored yarns or tape for marking purposes.

1. Select the stem from which you wish to take a cutting. Look along it until you locate a bud ON LAST YEAR'S GROWTH.

2. Place the block of wood behind that point and make a single VERTICAL cut all the way through the stem, just below the bud.

3. Insert a toopick through the cut.

4. Mark each cutting with colored yarn/tape so that you can locate it at a later date.

5. Walk away from your toothpick cuttings until the end of October or November. Leave them alone!

You will note that a callus has formed where you wounded the cutting and inserted a toothpick. With sharp pruning shears remove the cutting just below the toothpick. Trim off the toothpick on either side of the cutting.

7. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone and set them in a cold frame. Water well and close up the frame for the winter. Water as needed. If you do not have a cold frame, set the cuttings right next to your house foundation on the east or north side. Lean an old window or glass pane up against the foundation to protect them.

8. Rooting should take place by mid-spring. Those with greenhouses can leave the cuttings on the mother plant into December/January before setting them to root. Commercial propagators will find this useful.

This method requires a bit of practice but works well. In August/September select the stem to be used as a cutting. Locate last year's growth on the stem and grasp it between thumb and forefinger. Snap the stem lightly until it breaks in half. Leave it hanging on the plant where it will callus. Then follow instructions above for setting cuttings. Snip the cutting off, when callused, at the wounded part. This is a useful technique for azaleas and many woody shrubs and Japanese maples.

Hopefully I have explained this method so it is understood. Reading it over a few times may be necessary.


clipped on: 10.26.2014 at 04:23 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2014 at 04:23 pm

Grafting Conifers & Deciduous

posted by: gardener365 on 02.03.2014 at 06:14 pm in Conifers Forum

I'm finished making videos forever. This one pretty much covers it all. I made a whole new series with better picture quality and more information.

Conifer Grafting

Deciduous grafting:

Saddle Graft

Veneer Graft

Waxing the Scions & Understock

Oak wood is strong as steel.... be very careful if you attempt a saddle graft with oaks. Make damn sure your knife is razor sharp. I send my knife to a guy in Chicago that uses Japanese water stones. It's a hell of a deal because he sends a voucher and sharpens it for free the second time. You always pay postage to and from.

The Art of Sharp: Professional Mail in Knife Sharpening

I haven't been around because pecans kidnapped me. For the last four months that's all I've been able to think about (and heartnuts and Persian walnuts & hickories & persimmons and pawpaws). Grafting conifers has rebooted my brain where I had left off!



clipped on: 10.16.2014 at 06:09 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2014 at 06:09 pm

Moving a large fully leafed out Hosta -- lots o pix

posted by: ken_adrian on 06.05.2007 at 02:15 pm in Hosta Forum

well .. time for this one again .... i am sure you wont mind ... since i renamed my files.. i had to start a new post ... enjoy ....

you will need a rope .. like clothes line ... masking tape ... shovel ... pruning shears .... a strong back ... hose and water ...
water the hosta well in advance so it is in prime shape for moving ....

here is marion bachman before we start

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

take the clothes line ... and get it under the hosta .. and draw it tight about halfway up the petioles .. leaf stems ... draw it as tight as you can without breaking too many leaves ....
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then take the masking tape and tape the petioles above or below the rope .... do not have fear ...

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go dig the hole in the new place ....
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proceed to dig at least half way out from where the edge of the canopy was ... with the caveat that you have to be able to lift the darn thing after its out ...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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dig/cut a circle around the whole hosta .... and then 'pop' it out ... hoping there arent any tree roots to frustrate the procedure ... i never go more than one shovel depth ... which means you will be real close on the proper depth of the new hole ...
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once loose ... lift and drop the plant twice, to remove any excess soil that might fall off ... you can use the bound leaves to grab the plant to move it around .... apparently sand falls off rather easily ...

drag the plant to the new hole and throw it in .... water it well and backfill and water again ...

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remove the rope, but leave the tape there ... it will hold the leaves up until the roots start pumping water ... the process causes a loss of turgidity ... loss of water pressure to hold up the leaves .... in a week or two the tape will loosen itself, and you can remove it then ....

keep watering well ....

the tape will fall of in a week or 2 depending on heat and rain ... or you can remove it after you are sure the leaves will not flop ......

prune off any broken leaves ... after the tape falls off ...

water, water, water .... and she will look just like she did before the move.. weird but i cant find a picture of it settled in afterwards .... you will just have to take my word for it ....

bottom line .. they are hosta .. have no fear ... just teach them who is in charge .. and you will have a wonderful garden ...

good luck


clipped on: 01.07.2014 at 07:06 pm    last updated on: 01.07.2014 at 07:06 pm

RE: Second Year For My Bare Roots (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: idiothe on 06.15.2013 at 04:00 pm in Hosta Forum

I didn't mean to write an "article" - but I guess I have. If you aren't interested in how marketing of hostas happens - and how it has changed - just skip this entry. It got kind of long.

I used to get a lot of bare root in wholesale... sometimes they were independent crowns grown out in fields to 2 or 3 eye sizes. Occasionally they were divisions from larger plants.

The sources for these bare root were two... the wholesalers were growing some of them here in North America. Others they were getting from the very efficient growers in Europe, particularly in Holland. Holland is so far north that you can line hostas out like corn and grow them in full sun... fast growth, if not particularly handsome growth... perfect to dig in fall, wash to bare root, then package in 25s or 100s in plastic bags and pop into a cooler for shipment later.

I remember one year in the late 90s getting 25 Gold Standards for $.95 a crown - and what they were was very large crowns cut into pie wedges, each with about 6 eyes.

I crammed them into gallon pots and grew them a while and priced them at $5 - and got stuck with over half of them. I planted a big ring around our coffee deck and sold divisions of them for years afterwards as I cleared them out for more select plants. I still use them as a source for HVX free Gold Standards.

In the past decade or two, this older model of hosta marketing has largely faded out. Big wholesalers like Walters have continued to offer some common varieties as field-grown divisions that will be shipped bare root, but far more common are tc, or tc that are grown one season and potted into 3" or 4" pots and shipped that way.

Almost all the more sought-after hostas are coming that way. It is one of the ways they are controlling HVX... tc moved directly into sterile soil-replacement material and then moved up to larger small pots and grown for shipping. This approach moved the production from outdoor growing, with all the iffyness of farming... to an indoor laboratory/greenhouse production chain - much easy to control and preditc and monetize.

Again, many of the gallon pots with one or two eyes you are buying, though not bare root, were bought by your retailer in early spring in a small pot, repotted and grown a month or three in a gallon pot, and put out on the rack to sell to you.

I've seen a great decline in the size of plants you can expect from mail order retailers... and even many of the potted plants in greenhouses. The plants are often younger and may have never been outdoors in their lives. This is a result of the newer production method, concentrating on cloning them in tissue-culture.

If you want to do mail order from established nurseries, I'd encourage you to support the ones who take a lot of the risk upon themselves. For example, many folks here say good things about Hallsons. (Full disclosure - I consider Chris and Brian friends and did visit their nursery and home in 2009.)

I was impressed at Chris' commitment to not sell young plants. He puts them out in rows in real dirt and grows them. If they are not true to type, he roughs those out. Sometimes this means throwing away a lot of hostas.

From his listings, his first alphabetically is Abba Dabba Do at $8.50. You might find some cheaper... and you will certainly find more expensive ones... but he also adds: "Plant Size: 3rd year, uncut field grown plant shipped bare root " That is very important information. You know those plants survived two Michigan winters in the ground.

I'm not trying to market Hallsons. Many smaller nurseries do the same and some other national retailers also grow plants in the ground.

An alternative approach... Q&Z (Mark Zillis and family) is a major hosta wholesaler, and they tc many hostas. They sell a lot of tc 'liners' but they also sell something they call a "Retail Ready" hostas... plants about a year old in 4" pots that can be repotted into half gallon or gallon pots and sold the same season. Nothing wrong with a retailer using these - but the prices should reflect the youth of the plants.

I won't even get into the people marketing tc plants in retail on eBay and such. You have to know if your expertise makes it worth growing tc plants that are cheaper, but far more vulnerable. I think a lot of people are seduced by the low price - and a lot of baby hostas die each winter.

My sales each year (I don't hold sales any more, so I'm not marketing myself, either!) were a mix of divisions from my plants, plants I'd lined out a year or three before, and then some younger plants and recently potted tc for people really looking for something special. Often when I could get a few tcs of the brand new stuff the first year, I'd sell those to collectors.

So you can find field grown plants, occasionally, in local nurseries and by mailorder. More commonly, the nursery plants that are over a year old were wintered over in their pots in unheated greenhouses or outdoors or in refrigerated units. Very few folks have the time to plant them out for the winter, then dig and repot in the spring.

If I had a choice, I'd always go for a filed-grown division... in person or from a mailorder place. Minnesota winters are tough... not the ideal place to find out if a greenhouse-grown plant can adapt to an outdoor environment.

You can ask retailers how they handle their plants before ordering. Don't expect them to be very forthcoming about their wholesale sources (though you can tell a lot from the tags... each wholesaler sells different kinds of tags if the retailer wants to purchase them.) But they should be willing to tell you they grew it from tc, or bought a 1 yer old plant from some source... and how they grew it on after that.

My fingers are tired... I'll quit here...


clipped on: 01.03.2014 at 10:56 pm    last updated on: 01.03.2014 at 10:56 pm

RE: Dream Vacation follow up (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: smithstudios71 on 07.20.2013 at 04:18 pm in Hosta Forum

I use Photobucket to put pictures into forums, there are other ones you can use and they all work basically the same. Set up an account with one, upload some pictures, you can edit them once they are uploaded, then open the picture in the app, click on the text in the HTML box, it will automatically copy the text, then insert it into your post using ctrl+v

click on this link, then it will say "copied"
 photo e8910bc8-bcfd-4930-8b8c-a24dc56ae94b_zps021c11d2.jpg

once it is inserted into post it should look something like this
 photo 28191947-ece7-43c2-96e5-c4500cd6a06d_zpse1801ba4.jpg


clipped on: 10.26.2013 at 02:34 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2013 at 02:34 pm