Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money

This is a Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money post.  It shows you how I plant and grow my young annual and perennial plants indoors while it is below freezing outside.  This allows me to get a head start on my heirloom plants that I can’t find in the box stores later in the spring.


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Seed Storage

I store my seeds in plastic coffee cans.  This keeps them dry, out of the light, and I keep them in the basement, which keeps them cool.  These are the three things that seeds like for long term storage.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money - Coffee Can

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money – Coffee Can

I actually have several different coffee cans, each labeled with the month that I plant them.  February, March, April, and May.  I also have a can labeled as “stratify”, which is the practice of wetting and refrigerating certain seeds for a period of time.  Only certain seeds need to be stratified and they will be labeled as such if they need this process.

Each type of seed is stored in its own package or if it is seeds that I harvested from a previous year, they are stored in a labeled sandwich bag.

Seed Trays

I use 72 cell seed trays that I pick up from Walmart for around $4.  I do recycle my trays from last year and use them year after year, but they must be cleaned with a bleach and water solution before you re-use them.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money - Seed Tray

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money – Seed Tray

Label the Trays

I use a “Sharpie” marker to label the trays.  Each tray will have a different number and then I will label the rows from left to right from 1 to 12 with each row having 6 cells.  So, for tray 5, I will write 5-1 on the left side and 5-12 on the right side.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Labeled

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Labeled

Keep Track

I then use a piece of paper and label it 5-1, 5-2, and so on until I get to 5-12.  Then I write next to each one what I planted in that row.  Let’s say I planted Black Beauty Egg Plant in row 5-1, and Love Lies Amaranth in 5-2.  Then I would simply right it down as follows:

5-1 Black Beauty Egg Plant

5-2 Love Lies Amaranth

until I’m done planting.

Soil

I then put soil in the cells and LIGHTLY press it in.  This is simply to remove large air pockets.  Do not compress the soil into the cells.

Plant Seeds

Now plant the seeds in the cells based on your paper that you wrote above.  Plant the seeds based on the directions on the package.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money seeds

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money seeds

Water

I water all of these trays from the bottom and never from the top.  I do this by just submerging the bottom of the cells in water in a flat tray.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Water

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Water

Put Under Light

I then put the trays under a full spectrum fluorescent light.  I put the light on a timer from 6AM to 10PM.  Then I keep an eye on the plants every couple of days to make sure they don’t dry out.

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Light

Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money Light


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Transplanting Trees by Hand

Transplanting Trees by Hand

This post is about Transplanting Trees by Hand.  It is more showing how I did it than an actual how to or how you should do it.  The reason I’m transplanting trees from one yard to another is that I’m moving and one of the trees is not in the best spot and the other just has not been doing all that well.


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Dwarf Shapovia Mt. Ash

The first tree is a Dwarf Shapovia Mt. Ash.  This particular tree has not done all that well and really hasn’t grown that much in the three years that it has been planted in its current location.  Because it is so small and hasn’t grown that much, I will not be trimming any of the top branches.  I’m just digging it up and transporting it out to the farm in WV and putting it in the ground.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Shipovia

Transplanting Trees by Hand Shipovia

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

The next tree is an Illinois Everbearing Mulberry.  It has grown great in its current location, but is growing under two oak trees and has fruit that will stain the walkway in the pool area.  Because of the danger of stains and location I feel that whoever buys this house will likely not want it where it is and will cut it down.

Well, if the tree is going to be cut down anyhow, I might as well try digging it up and transplanting it.  Because it is so big, it will need a good bit of pruning on the upper part to minimize the stress on the plant.   What I ultimately want is an hourglass shape.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Mulberry

Transplanting Trees by Hand Mulberry

Hourglass Shape

What I mean by hourglass shape is that the top part of the plant is spread out and it comes together to a main trunk.  That main trunk then fans out at the bottom, almost matching the shape of the top of the plant.  This should have an hourglass look to it.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Hourglass

Transplanting Trees by Hand Hourglass


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Epi078 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi078 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi078 Great Escape Farms Podcast – The Week in Review, Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1, Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2, Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3, My Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs, and SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review.


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Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

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Great Escape Farms Podcast

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SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review

SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review

This is a SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review.  We give a brief description of how it works, tell you how it boosted our cell signal, and cover a problem that we ran into and how to fix it. But first, the description.


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Here’s What You Need to Know

The SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster boosts voice, text and 4G LTE signals for all North American cell carriers.  In the video, I stated that it did not cover Sprint.  It now appears that it does cover Sprint. It supports 8 users simultaneously.

The system reduces dropped and missed calls and also improves 4G LTE data speeds.  Because it increases the cell signal strength, the battery life of your cellular device will last longer because it is not searching for lost signals.  This particular unit will boost signal strength for buildings up to 4,000 square feet.

What are your Options?

SureCall has several different options for you to choose from.  For the outside antenna, they have a Yagi directional antenna or an Omni directional antenna.  For the inside they have a whip antenna or a panel antenna.

Inside Antennas

The whip antenna is sufficient for one or two rooms and covers a maximum of 3000 square feet.  The panel antenna is intended for the whole house or small office and covers a maximum of 4000 square feet.

SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review - Yagi

SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review – Yagi

Outside Antennas

The Omni directional antenna boosts signals from all directions, but only allows for a maximum of 2500 square feet of coverage.  The Yagi directional antenna is aimed at a cell tower and can give you up to a maximum of 4000 square feet of coverage.

My System

The system I purchased was the SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster with Yagi antenna and panel antenna.  Below is a list of what is included in this kit from Amazon (I have a link to the Amazon product I bought below).

The Kit

The kit I bought from Amazon includes: Fusion4Home booster, outdoor Yagi antenna, indoor panel antenna, 50 feet of RG-6 cable, 20 feet of SC-240 cable and power supply.

SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review - Booster

SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review – Booster

What does it do?

The outdoor antenna captures signal from the cell tower. The cellular signal is then boosted and re-broadcast inside to all mobile devices. It’s just that simple and it works great.  I had 1 or zero bars of service in my house, but had 3 bars of service on my roof.  I put this system in and I now have three bars of service in the area of the antenna and actually have 2 bars of service at the other end of the house in the basement.  Previously I had consistent zero bars of service in the basement.

What it does NOT do:

It cannot make a cell signal out of nothing.  If I had 1 bar of service on my roof, the best scenario I could get in the house is 1 bar.  If you have no bars, then you get no bars in the house.  You have to have a signal for it to relay.

What direction is your cell tower?

The link below can help you pinpoint where your cell towers are at for your area.

http://www.cellreception.com/towers/

Use the map to figure out what direction your cell tower is and then use a compass to point your Yagi antenna.  If you have an Omni antenna, you do not have to worry about direction.

This link shows the general cell strength in a given area.  This didn’t work so well for me out in a rural area.

https://opensignal.com/

My Thoughts

This system is awesome for my situation.  My house is in a valley and gets no or low signal down low and in the house, but I get 3 bars on the roof.  The SureCall system with the Yagi antenna is able to take advantage of these 3 bars and rebroadcast them in the house, giving me great cell service.  If you have good service in a spot where you can put an antenna and poor service in a structure, I highly recommend this product.

Amazon Link

The Video

Below is the video titled SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review


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Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs

This video goes over my favorite plant nursery magazines as well as my favorite seed catalogs.  Many of the plants in these magazines are also offered at our nursery at Great Escape Nursery.  Great Escape Nursery offers rooted cuttings of plants at an affordable price.  We are a relatively young nursery and do not have the variety that the nurseries below have, but we are well on our way.  Check out our nursery at http://greatescapenursery.com/


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Raintree Nursery

Raintree Nursery is our first catalog to review.  They offer a very large selection of well-established unique edible plants.  The catalog offers large pictures, a good description and background on each plant and gives good details on the requirements to grow the plants.  They also have a large selection of root stock plants.  These plants are a little pricier than some of the other magazines, but that is because they are generally larger.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - Raintree

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – Raintree

Burnt Ridge Nursery

Burnt Ridge Nursery is our next catalog.  Like Raintree Nursery, Burnt Ridge Nursery has a large selection of unique edible plants.  The prices are generally a little cheaper here than Raintree and they do have a few plants not offered by Raintree.  The Burnt Ridge Nursery catalog does not have any pictures, so it is a little more difficult to get a feel for the plant from the catalog.  They make up for this by having beautiful pictures on their website.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - Burnt Ridge

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – Burnt Ridge

One Green World

One Green World is another nursery that I have purchased several plants from.  They have a nice magazine with lots of pictures.  One Green World does have a few unique plants that the other nurseries do not have and I love variety, so I’m sure I’ll be buying more from them in the future.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - One Green World

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – One Green World

Stark Bros.

Stark Bros. is a larger nursery that a number of you have probably heard of before.  I purchased a number of paw paw trees from them this past fall.  Stark Bros. had them a little cheaper than some of the other nurseries and they had them in stock this past fall when other nurseries did not have them.

Terroir Seeds

Terroir Seeds has a large selection of heirloom, non-GMO, and organic seeds to choose from.  They have a large selection of unique edible plants, some of which are perennial.  They also have a large herb selection that includes a number of medicinal plants.  The magazine does not have that many color pictures.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - Terroir

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – Terroir

Baker Creek

Baker Creek offers the largest selection of heirloom, non-GMO, and organic seeds.  I have spent many hundreds of dollars buying my annual plants from them as well as many perennial medicinal plants and herbs.  This magazine has loads of color pictures so you can see exactly what you are purchasing.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - Baker Creek

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – Baker Creek

Adaptive Seeds

Adaptive Seeds has some unique perennials and annuals that you won’t find elsewhere.  I have not bought a ton of stuff from them, but have bought a couple of dozen unique seeds from them that I have not found elsewhere.

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs - Adaptive

Favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs – Adaptive

Johnny’s Seeds

Johnny’s Seeds is a more well-known seed magazine.  I have found quite a few unique edible plants at their company.

Wrap-up

Well, there you have it.  A list of my favorite Plant Nursery Magazines and Seed Catalogs.  Now is the time to order your seeds and plants before they are all gone.


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Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects

This is a Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects.  Part 3 is the last in this series and focuses on the inside projects.  Part 1 and 2 were posted previously and shows outside project as well as a stroll through the yard explaining the various plants in the yard.


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The first project we come to are the two inside mushroom patches.  I have shiitake and a wine cap mushroom kits growing in the dining room.  Yeah, the wife just loves that 🙂   I have harvested mushrooms from the shiitake kit, but none from the wine cap kit yet.  I’m on the second go around with the kits right now.  For the shiitake, I let it dry out for two weeks and then soaked it in water for five hours.  Now I’m just keeping both kits under the humidity tent waiting for more mushrooms.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Mushrooms

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Mushrooms

 

Kitchen cabinets are the next project.  We have removed the cabinet faces and will be painting the cabinet faces.  We are going from a cream color to a grey color on the cabinets and replacing the kitchen floor with something more modern.  Again, this is all in preparation for the big move out to the farm homestead in WV.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Cabinets

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Cabinets

At the moment, a piece of the wall is torn out to expose the main water shutoff for the outside hose systems.  This needs to be covered and I’m going to make a permanent door to access the valves.  They will be kind of like a picture frame in the wall that is hinged so you can just open the frame part, giving you access to the valves.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Water Cutoff

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Water Cutoff

There are quite a few projects in the basement besides the wall project that we just talked about.  The continuous brew kombucha tea is down there as well.  Everything with the kombucha is kind of on hold at the moment.  I have a full case in the refrigerator and the system has sat too long to be immediately usable.  It would be very vinegary as is, so I would have to drain three quarters off and start over on the continuous brew system.  I also have a hotel set up with a half dozen extra SCOBY.  If anyone lives close to MD and is looking to start kombucha, shoot me an email and you can have one of the SCOBY to get your system started.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Kombucha

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Kombucha

The furnace room is where I do my inside growing of plants.  Here I will start the annuals and some perennials and grow them under a grow light on a timer and get a jump start on the growing season.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Indoor Plants

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Indoor Plants

The red wiggler worm bin is in the furnace room on the floor.  The worms have been doing fine. I have stopped over feeding them and keep lots of “browns” on top of them, which has cut down on the fruit fly problems.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Red Wigglers

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Red Wigglers

Our next stop on the inside tour is garage.  I have had my rooted cuttings that are in pots located in the garage to protect them from single digit temperatures.  The long-range forecast doesn’t show any single digit temperatures in the near future and I need the garage space for other projects, so I’m moving the plants back outside, hopefully for the duration of the winter.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 - Inside Projects - Garage

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 3 – Inside Projects – Garage


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Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2

This is a Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2.  I took the video and it was quite long so I had to break it up into three parts.  Part 1 and 2 are a walk around the outside of the homestead and taking a look at the plants in the winter time.  Part 3 is a look at some of the inside projects going on or that will be going on.


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In Part 2 we walk through the pool area.  The first tree in this area is the Mountain Ash Dwarf Shipovia.  I put this tree in three years ago and it really hasn’t done anything.  So, this is one that I’m going to dig up and move out to the WV farm.  Maybe it will like the clay soil out there better than my sandy soil in Maryland.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Sipovia

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Sipovia

Then we stroll past a pink lemonade blueberry plant and a sour cherry tree on our way over to an apple tree.  This apple tree has never flowered.  Part of this is because I have not trimmed it and also because all of the branches are vertical.  I need to bend some down so they are horizontal and that would likely fix the flowering issue.  Apple trees seem to prefer flowering on horizontal branches.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Apple Tree

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Apple Tree

Next up is a fig tree.  It had lots of buds last year, but we had a late freeze in April last year and all of the branches died back to the ground.  So far this year we have had a mild winter and it is looking good that it may not die back to the ground this year.

Just a few feet away are the hardy bananas.  I did a video on these in the fall that showed how I winterized the bananas.  Behind the bananas we have an apple tree that did produce last year.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Hardy Banana

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Hardy Banana

On the other side of the walkway is a Korean bush cherry.  It had a lot of flowers last year, but did not fruit. Hopefully I’ll have a lot of fruit this year.

In front of the Korean Bush cherry is a cherry tree.  It is kind of like a Rainier cherry, but it has a different name.  Under this tree I planted an autumn olive to fix nitrogen and three comfrey plants to mine nutrients up to the surface for the cherry tree to use.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Cherry Tree

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 Cherry Tree

In front of the cherry tree is a quince bush that flowered last year.  It may have had a fruit on it, but either the dogs or squirrels got to it before me.

Back against the fence is a rose bush called Rosa ragusa.  This type of rose bush grows very large rose hips that you can eat and make teas out of.

Then we have a red currant, four elderberries, another fig and some maypop.  In a pot, I have an amber raspberry bush.  Because it is in a pot, it is portable and will be going to WV with me.


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The Video

Check out the video below titled Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 2 – Pool Area

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Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Pasadena Maryland

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Pasadena Maryland

This is a Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1.  I took the video and it was quite long so I had to break it up into three parts.  Part 1 and 2 are a walk around the outside of the homestead and taking a look at the plants in the winter time.  Part 3 is a look at some of the inside projects going on or that will be going on.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef


We begin with Part 1, where we have started all of the previous walks around the homestead, by the front blueberries.  The blueberry buds are swelling up already getting ready for spring.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Blueberry bud

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Blueberry bud

The next plant on our tour is Sweet Scarlet Goumi.  I will be trimming this plant way back in the next couple of weeks and using the cuttings for hardwood cuttings out at the farm.  Then I will dig the plant up and move it out to the farm.  It may not make it because it is so big at this point, but I feel the new owners of this house will likely remove the plant due to its location.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Just to the north of the sweet scarlet goumi are two nanking cherry bushes.  These are bush type cherries that taste both sweet and sour.  This variety is one of the first plants to flour in the spring in this area.

Next in the video we walked past the pear, peach, nectarine, and plum trees on our way over to the Illinois Everbearing Mulberry.  This is another plant that I will be taking hardwood cuttings from and will dig up and try to move it to the farm in WV.  This tree is not really in the best location and bears fruit that stains the sidewalk by the pool, so I would think that the new owners would likely remove this tree as well.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

The next tree on the walk is a Bing cherry.  Although it is healthy and flowered last year, I do not have another cherry tree close by to cross pollinate it.  I did have one about 20 feet away, but it died about two years ago.

Two Rose of Sharon bushes were our next stop in the video.  Many people have this bush, but few realize that both the flowers and leaves are edible.  I tried both last year and they weren’t bad.  The flowers were good, but the leaves were a little older and were a little stringy.  If you catch them early in the season they make a good lettuce substitute.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Rose of Sharon

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Rose of Sharon

My arbor is laying on its side in the back yard right now.  I laid it over so the wind wouldn’t blow it over and break it again.  That happened to me about three years ago and ever since I repaired it I lay in down in the fall and pick it back up in the spring.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Arbor

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Arbor

The fish pond was running a little low on water a few days ago, so I unplugged the pump.  Now the pond is frozen over.  Temperatures went into the mid-forties today, so I filled the pond up and started the pump again and the ice started to melt.  If ice sits on the pond for too long, then gases can build up under the ice and kill the fish.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Fish Pond

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Fish Pond

In the hougalkultur mound we show a hardy hibiscus, black currant, four honey berry plants, two nanking bush cherries, a fig tree, a goji berry, two Hansen’s bush cherries, a pomegranate, maypop, a high bush blue berry, and two low bush blue berries.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Hougal Mound

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Hougal Mound

We also provide an update on the old garden area.  This area is being removed and grass will be planted to make it look more like suburbia so it will sell better.  I will have a small garden area in the back, but all of the big square foot garden beds are being removed.  The four strawberry patches will be removed as well and the strawberries will be transplanted to the WV farm.

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 - Garden Area

Sustainable Homesteading in Maryland Part 1 – Garden Area

Cornelian cherry is the next tree on the list.  Mine have not flowered yet, but looking at the buds on the tree this year, I think we are going to get quite a few flowers this year.

Right next to the cornelian cherry is a kousa dogwood.  It fruited for the first-time last year and has lots of buds again this year.  The fruit is about the size of a quarter and has a custard like texture.

All of the softwood cuttings that I have been overwintering in the garage were moved back outside over the weekend.  The long-range forecast does not show any temps down in the teens or below, so they should be good to stay outside.


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Epi077 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi077 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi077 Great Escape Farms Podcast – The Week in Review, Herb Spiral with Michael Judd, Marshmallow Althaea officinalis, Planting Paw Paw Seeds, and Hardwood Cutting Propagation.


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Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

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Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Today I’m going to talk about Hardwood Cutting Propagation or Winter Plant Propagation.  This is basically a ‘how to’ of rooting cuttings in the winter time with very little effort.  But first, let’s talk a little terminology.


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Here’s the terminology You’ll Need to Know.

Softwood Cutting

Let’s start with softwood cuttings.  Softwood cuttings are cuttings off of this year’s growth on a plant that is only a month or two old.  It grew this year, usually starting in the spring and is sometimes still a little green.  When you bend the two ends of this stick it will snap, but doesn’t look very woody.  If it just bruises and bends, it is too soon to use and it needs to sit longer.

Semi-Softwood Cutting

The next wood type is semi-softwood and it is a cutting that was taken from this year’s growth on a plant that is three months old or older, but before the leaves fall off.  It grew this year, usually starting in the spring and the wood is usually changing to the color of the other branches on the bush. When you bend the two ends of this stick it will snap and usually looks quite woody.

Hardwood Cutting

Last, we have hardwood cuttings.  These are taken from the previous springs new growth, but growth that is less than one year old.  It is taken when the plant is dormant, which is when the leaves have fallen in the winter.

Internode

An internode is a point on a plant that has leaves, branches, buds, or tendrils coming out.

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Before you Begin

Make sure you are working with clean equipment.  Clean your clippers, shears, or whatever you are using to cut the wood with.  I use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to wipe down the cutting edges.  Doing this will make sure you do not spread disease or pathogens between plants.

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Now Make the Cut

On the hardwood cutting, near the bottom of the wood that you are dealing with, make a clean cut about 1/8” below the bottom internode.  Then come up at least 3 internodes and make cut about 1” above that internode.  The number of internodes will vary by plant type.  The first plant I did was muscadine grapes and I did three internodes and the cuttings were about four inches.  I pushed them 1 inch into the ground leaving 3 inches out.

Next up was elderberry.  Three internodes on an elderberry was about 18” long.  This plant was pushed into the ground about two and a half to three inches.

The last plant in this exercise was blueberry.  In order to get a four-inch cutting, I had to leave 9 internodes.  Rooting hormone was applied and it was pushed one inch into the ground.

Do you really need Rooting Hormone?

Questions about rooting hormone are common.  Most cuttings will do just fine without rooting hormone.  Other plants do much better with it.  In my experience, elderberries do not need rooting hormones.  They root very easily.  I have had a tough time with blueberry cuttings though.  So, I do use rooting hormone on blueberries with hardwood cuttings and have had pretty good luck.

There are Different Types of Rooting Hormone

There are two main types of rooting hormone.  They are liquid and powdered.  The liquid hormone is mixed with water and allows you to adjust concentration based on how much water you add.  The powdered hormone has to be bought in the concentration you want.

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

With the liquid hormone, I follow the directions on the bottle.  You usually use a less concentrated amount on softwood and a more concentrated amount on hardwood cuttings.  I’ll include a link below to the type of liquid rooting hormone I buy online.

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

With the powdered hormone, I buy whatever Home Depot or Lowes has and just dip the cuttings in it.


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If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


Here is Where to Plant Them

Plant the cuttings where you want them to grow and don’t let them dry completely out.  You can put them in pots if you like, but pots can dry out pretty quick in the summer, so keep a close eye on the water in the heat of the summer.

There You Have It!

Well, there you have it!  A way to propagate your own plants cheaply at home.  This method has saved me thousands of dollars and will make me (hopefullyJ) thousands of dollars as I sell these plants at GreatEscapeNursery.com

Amazon Link

Here is the Amazon link to the liquid rooting hormone that I use:

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