Sunday, February 01, 2009

Let's Get It Started

It's time for a little experiment at ER! I've read about this before but never tried it until now. Basically, you make your own rooting hormone for starting new plants instead of buying the stuff from the stores. I was thinking today that I just don't write very much about the organic or natural practices that I do and I need to improve on that. Unfortunately, I'm not as good with it as a lot of people but I do try to come up with alternative or natural solutions when I can. Also, I believe if you can make a product that is just as good or better than what you can buy, then it just makes good sense to do this. Plus, if this works, it is extremely easy to do.
I took a small handful of willow twigs, about 4 to 5 inches long and just placed them in a mason jar with enough water to just cover them. I let this soak for a few days. Many of you probably know that willow trees root very easily. You can practically just throw one out on the ground and it will root. The willow is extremely high in a natural hormone that helps with this. By soaking in water you extract this hormone and can use it with other plants. As you can see from this photo, the twigs were already starting to sprout from this little time in the water.

I want to propagate what few lavender plants I have so they are going to be my guinea pigs. Lavender plants are expensive here and I only have about a 50% success rate in transplanting them so if I could save that money it would be fabulous. Now, a friend told me when you take a cutting from lavender, you actually just tear a small shoot off one of the larger branches, making sure it leaves this little tag on the end. I don't know why this helps but I did it anyway.

Then, you just soak the cuttings, or tearings in this case, in the willow water for a few days. Oh, discard the willow twigs. After 3 or 4 days, transfer the cuttings into a small pot with soil and keep slightly moist. From then on you just treat them as you would any seedling. So, I will show the progression of this and whether it works for me or not. I really hope it does work as I would like to line my drive by the garden with beautiful lavender plants. They seem to really like the soil and weather here once you get them established.

*Black-Eyed Peas


Ed Abbey said...

I don't have a readily supply of willow up here so I'll have to take your word for it. We do have other plants that root easily. I wonder if they might have the same hormones...

The Country Experience said...

That's interesting, I didn't know that about extracting the hormone from the willow twigs that way.

I'll be interested to see what happens with the lavender.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Well, I would have willow trees grew everywhere in the U.S.! Other plants might work also but the wilow is the only one I have read about.

Hey CE! Well, I have no idea if this is going to work but it's worth a try. I'll be sure to show the results.

countrypeapie said...

Oh, I hope it works! Man, that lavender smells aMAZing. Mmmmmmm.

Rurality said...

Cool! I will be interested to see how that progresses!

Hubby had me trying to split wood this past weekend... the willow was soooo easy. The ash, not so much. I also discovered that my back is not a big fan of splitting wood. ;)

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I never heard of this trick. Good luck with it.

edifice rex said...

Hey Peapie! I hope it works too! It will save me a lot of money.

Hey Karen! Yeah, I'm very curious to see what happens.
try you some dry oak or hickory; it practically busts itself apart. But, I admit, swinging an axe or sledgehammer takes some practice and some getting used to.

Hey Philip! thanks! I actually read about this a couple of times; don't remember where now.

The Scavenger said...

Things are lookin mighty good over there. Keep up thoses raisin stuff posts. lol I like 'em.

(Blue Eyes) Sorry, just had to throw that in there..LOL

edifice rex said...

Hey pretty Blue Eyes! oh! I mean, Chris! ha!
Well, I'm not the best at growing things and such but I'll keep posting on this and what little else I know about gardening.