Monday 22 October 2012

Monster root and hardwood cuttings

Wednesday 17th
Weather: Rain overnight. Another day for lingering - sunny but very windy.

I dug out a monster of a Symphytum today in the Peacock Garden. I thought it was several plants, but it was actually one big motherboard root that had gotten cavernous inside. I tried to extract as much of the roots out as possible, as it only takes a bit for it to get going again. Then I divided it into four and transplanted it to a place down at the farm where it was required. It is great for making into a plant feed. I came across it a lot in the community group allotment that I ran and there have been people who have dedicated livelihoods praising and investigating the virtues of this plant especially in organic growing. But you have to watch that it doesn't take over too easily as it's so keen to grow and spread.

Hardwood cuttings

I also did hardwood cuttings of Salix balfourii. People have slightly different variants on how to do these. But I was taught at college to have it about pencil thickness and approximately the length of a secateur. You take all flower buds & leaves off. And one way of identifying top and bottom (very important in getting it the right way up) is by cutting the bottom bit straight and the top bit slanted. You always cut to a node at the bottom. We set 30 of these in a pot 4.5" approx. It is best to have two or three nodes immersed in the soil with three quarters of the stick covered up. We watered them in well and have left them in an open frame in an area called the Orchard Frames. Then we will try and not let them get too wet so that they don't end up rotting.

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