Six on Saturday – The Snip

It has been a wonderful week for gardening. Warm and dry. Ideal weather for a t-shirt, be it red or otherwise.

While tidying the shed a few weeks ago I came upon a New Garden Product. I had known it was in there somewhere but it eluded me for many years. Truth be told, I had come across it during the last recession but had no interest in using it so I dumped it at the bottom of a bosca. It is a Rooting Globe. However it can no longer be called a New Garden Product. My Six on Saturday this week features this Old Garden Product six times. There’s only a faint glimpse of plants, but for the record they are:

  • Rosa Just Joey
  • Acer x2
  • Fuchsia

Full instructions are included, together with website and even the bar code. I shall do an inspection in mid-November and report back.

The kit consists of five globes, three small ones, a medium and a large. Obviously, the small ones are for small branches, and the others for medium and large respectively. I just thought that was worth pointing out.

The First Step is to cut and peel off a short section of bark, as below. This is Step Two on instruction sheet above. Don’t worry about the lack of synchronisation.

This is the Acer, together with attached globe. Looks cool, I think. Nature will work its magic and hopefully there’ll be roots in eight weeks, at which point I will sever the branch, hide the globe at the bottom of a box in the shed and plant the new Acer in the Holding Area.

Rosa Just Joey also got the snip, and I await the results. Propagation of the species will continue despite methods that imply impossibility.

This is the large globe attached to a larger branch. Unfortunately, I selected a branch that was a bit too small and the globe was not secured tightly against the cut. Nevertheless, despite a ghastly appearance, some tape and a cable tie did the trick. Very close inspection of the reflection in some photographs will show that I’m wearing a red t-shirt but not in this one. I’m wearing one and it is red, but it just cannot be seen because the tape is not reflective.

Where To Find It

Cutting Globes are available from Amazon or your local garden centre. They may also be found hidden at bottom of a box in an untidy shed. If you’ve a box in an untidy shed, it might be worth your while checking before purchasing. Red t-shirts are ten a penny and can be got everywhere.

Request for advice: Have you used these? Have you any tips? Would non-transparent be better? I’ve a feeling that rooting would be easier in the dark.

Weather

It has been a wonderful week for gardening. Warm and dry. Ideal weather for a t-shirt, be it dearg or otherwise.

In Other News

Last Saturday’s epic 160km cycle was… epic. I did write a bit about it here. What else stood out for me during the week?

  • Sam Bennett is on the brink of finishing the TDF in the Green Jersey
  • I rearranged the glasshouse shelving, updating it from two to three-storey. That’s big!
  • My super-duper labelling machine has arrived and surely I’ll be writing about it just as soon as I figure out what’s what.
  • Covid-19 second wave is intensifying, as too many fools are endangering themselves and others.

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday offerings from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I’ll be spending some time today, tomorrow (or perhaps even yesterday?) reading articles by so many others, and I’ll not be clock-watching ar chor ar bith. I hope you have a great week, be it in the garden, the potting shed or elsewhere. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig,

19th September 2020.

September 2016

Four years ago today, I was a bit obsessed with taking cuttings. It didn’t just develop overnight.

Here’s the proof. I originally had this on my previous blog, so here’s a reminder to my older 2050 self that it was there too. I’ll be 92. I did love PetalsByPáraig but I didn’t love Blogger. I did like it at the time, but it was not love. Links may be out of date. Bit like myself, I suppose.

Note: Páraig is the shortened version of Pádraig, aka Pat, Patrick, Patsy and Paddy. My wife loves Páraig, and I love her too.

Looking back…

Looking back, three things I notice now:

  • The shed was much tidier.
  • There’s a very professional-looking dibber.
  • I was using very posh terminology: Pelargonium rather than ordinary-Joe-soap Geranium.
  • Blogger was not my favourite piece of software.
  • I loved Marion back then too.

Pádraig,

2nd September 2020.

Acers in Autumn

It’s overcast here in Dungarvan and there has been light overnight mist. Seems like a good time to continue with a few more cuttings. Today it’s Acer time. I’ve got 15 little babies in the making, three of each. That would be 18, you say… However, two of the images within the collage are from the same plant, but which two?
Have you any recommended Acers? I’d opt for Seiryu, Orange Dream and two unknown ones, simply because that’s what I’ve got!

These cuttings are safely tucked away in a shaded corner and I’ll keep a close eye on them. Ideally, I’d prefer a cold frame. Maybe I’ll tackle that before winter. Time now for late breakfast. Bricfeasta.

Acer cuttings & others

Late update…

Two days later… It’s DONE. I’ve completed the Cold Frame in double quick time. Here it is.

Pádraig,

1st September 2020.

Six on Saturday – Cut and Change

I’m going to cut to the chase, without further ado. Pronto, as it were. There will be no dilly-dallying or beating about the bush. I shall abandon the preliminaries and get stuck in immediately, foregoing the unnecessary preambles, because I’m eager to cut corners in order to get to the nub of the matter. Simply put, it’s the last weekend of August. It’s time for me to start making baby plants from cuttings. I’m cutting corners (twice) and layers of red tape to bring you my Six this Saturday. There are thirty cuttings and five rooted seedlings below. That’s thirty-five. Triocha-cúig.

1 and 2: Lavender & Fuchsia

I was kindly asked to stop using peat-based compost recently, and I gave the matter some thought. Not much thought, but enough. I rummaged in the shed to find that I already have an organic peat-free bag hiding behind the other ones, so I used it, mixed with some sand, to pot up some fuchsia and lavender cuttings.

9 Lavender & 6 Fuchsia

There is a growing trend (yes, a growing trend) to move away from using peat. I had known about it from my work in the local garden centre last year, yet it sometimes takes a little kick up the ar backside to make change happen. Likely, it may be a bit too nutritious, so I’m wondering is there a peat-free product specifically for cuttings and/or seed-sowing? I’m sure there is. I love answering my own question! I’m sure others reading this may also love answering my question.  I am learning so much from other gardeners and I’m happy to be more enlightened.

3. Hebe ‘Rhubarb and Custard’

I wrote about this only a dew days ago, and I’m not in the habit of repeating myself so go check it out here. The comments section highlights the gentle kick up the backside mentioned above.

Nine Hebe Rhubarb & Custard

4. Skimmia ‘Temptation’

I notice that some of the leaves of this (gift from my daughter for Christmas 2018) are cut. It’s not unusual to cut large leaves when taking cuttings. There’s a very good reason for it.

3 Skimmia

5. Leucothoe ‘Red Lips’

The common name has me smiling! It’s called Dog Hobble. Smiling is good as it helps exercise many facial muscles that simply do not get moving while sulking. Dog Hobble Red Lips. Again, I decided to snip the leaves horizontally for the same very good reason as above.

3 Dog Hobble

6. Helleborus

This one is not a cutting, but rather a few small rooted seedlings that had grown beneath the parent plant. It’s a plant that I really like. There’s an interesting story I’d like to share about this parent plant.

5 Hellebores
In 2018 we noticed that it was  being ravaged by whitefly after flowering. I wanted to deal with the blighters privately and Marion wanted the plant snipped to ground level, but I objected strongly. I returned home one fine day to find that it had been given a haircut. Number one. Later, peace was restored when I discovered that there were little seedlings seeding beneath. My wife is always right. I must write that seventy times. 

Other News

  • Storm Francis brought lots more rain last Monday night and very blustery winds on Tuesday. Very strangely, there were a few hours of lovely gardening weather in between. No damage this time. Sadly though, I got word that our friends in Santa Cruz have had to evacuate their home because of the raging fires there.
  • America has had very severe problems. Ireland had Golfgate. Both are horrific.
  • Our new Budda is in situ and I rub his belly every few days. It seems that lots of rain follows.

Get involved…

Has anyone got tips or tricks about taking plant cuttings? Or perhaps advice about what has worked or failed? Do please share. I am more than happy to get as good as I give.

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday offerings from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week, be it in the garden, the potting shed or elsewhere. Slán go fóill.

About the Author: Pádraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves cutting plants, baby seedlings and Dog Hobble. He also loves the Buddha’s big belly, but not storms in August. More about him here.

Pádraig,

29th August 2020.

Hebe ‘Rhubarb & Custard’

I bought three Hebe Rhubarb & Custard plants back in April 2020, and planted them near the roses. They have settled in very well and are putting on good growth.

I had held off buying these from the previous year because they were overpriced everywhere. Eventually, my patience was rewarded as I got them for less than half price.

Now is the time, I think, to take some cuttings. The plan is to take three from each plant. I had written about it on Instagram in June.

Previous Articles about Hebe

Below is a repeat photograph taken this week from the same angle as the one above. I can see that they are growing well.

In 2022 these three will grow to become one large group.

How to Propagate from Cuttings

Here is a very simple guide to propagating Hebe from cuttings:

Step 1: Cut and trim the lower leaves and remove the growing tip. Dip each cutting in rooting powder and shake off any excess.

Step 2: Fill containers with a mixture of peat and sand. Water well and leave for a few hours to drain. Use a pencil to make three holes and place one cutting in each. I had nine cuttings, and put three in each pot. I always liked maths. From these nine, I expect to get four or five new plants. Place the pots in a cold frame or a sheltered spot. I do not have a cold frame (yet) so I will go for plan B, and I’ll check them in about six weeks. I will pull very gently and if they have rooted I will know immediately. Its exciting.

The logical deduction is that I can now buy more plants and still save money.

Such excitement!

Note: Storm Francis arrived last night. Plenty rain and some wind, but nothing as severe as Ellen last week. Today is a bright and fresh, ideal for gardening.

Pádraig,

Tuesday, 25th August 2020

Then There Were Twelve

Ivy propagation, round 2. Years ago I gave up on planting ivy on our garden boundary walls because it became unmanageable. But a few ivy plants are very good in pots on the patio. Today I bought one at my local garden centre. (Plant, not patio!) I knew when buying it that I’d easily make at least 12 plants from it. So, a few hours later everything is finito. Let the glasshouse work it’s magic, along with the rooting powder of course.

Small ivy becomes very big and unmanageable 

Páraig is the author of Petals by Paraig. He loves pottering in the potting shed, making baby plants and waiting for healthy offspring. He also loves portable power banks and nature’s magic but not cracked patio slabs.

Alyssum: Easy Seed Saving

I love growing from seed. So do many people. Browsing the garden centre, supermarket or catalogues for brightly-coloured seed packets is good fun, and even greater fun when the seeds actually germinate and grow fully.
This week, following some good advice on Garden Tags (my mobile app for updating my garden and sharing stories with other keen growers), I started the process of saving seeds from plants already in place. I started with Alyssum “Golden Ball” and it was thrilling. I had noticed that the seedheads were just ready. Flowering had finished about three weeks ago, and the beautiful brown seeds would surely scatter in the wind within a short while. They looked very much like linseed that I put on my Flahavan’s porridge for breakfast.
What you need:
  • large container
  • scissors
  • small container or envelope
These seeds are so easy to save. I cut large clumps from the plant, and in the process gave it a good “haircut”. This in  itself is necessary to prepare the plant for winter and better flowering next year. I held the clumps upside-down over a plastic bucket, and shook them vigorously. Lo and begold, the seeds fell and with them only a little chaff. Alternatively, it works well if you put them into a lettuce leaf “dryer”, and twist for 30 seconds. The seeds will fall through the grill, but the rest will not. After about ten minutes sifting out, I was left with only good ripe seed. I did need to remove some seeds that were not fully ripe, but the task was easy as most were just right. I have stored them in a small sealed plastic container, and will be planting them after Christmas in the propagator.
This was used for screws & nails; now it’s for seeds
By my reckoning I’ve got about 200 seeds from one plant. I’ll likely grow them on and will only be able to keep five or ten in my small garden. What will I do with the rest? I’m a member of a seed-swap group, so I’ll be on the look out for members who have seeds that I’d like to get. It’s a win-win situation.
I’d be happy to share these seeds in return for a chicken or even a few heads of broccoli. Better still, I’d opt for a nice plant (seeds or cuttings) from someone’s garden Or, I’d be happy to grow a dozen for someone who would appreciate them. Cost will be just what it costs me for a bit of compost and pots, labels & tlc. No online ordering system in place, coz the banks would pluck most of the profits, so anyone who wants these plants, just get in touch. For me the fun is in the challenge of growing seeds. I’m not looking to be rich in the process. Not rich in money, but definitely rich in therapeutic satisfaction.

What else can be saved from seed now? Lots of plants really. I’m trying wallflower, aubretia, marigold and sweet pea. Happy seed-saving if you decide to try. And if you’re an ultra-keen gardener do take a look at the Garden Tags app.

Pádraig, 28th September 2016.