Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

This post is about Propagating Korean Bush Cherry.  We give you general plant information followed by detailed propagation instructions for softwood cuttings.

Basic Information

Korean Bush Cherry is a fine-textured bush cherry with fuzzy leaves that grows to 5-8 feet in height and width, likes full sun to part shade and is hardy in zones 4-8. It is known as Korean Bush Cherry, Japanese bush cherry, or Oriental bush cherry with a scientific name of Prunus japonica.  It is native from central China south through Korea.

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

The Korean Bush cherry is covered in fragrant white flowers in the spring. These bush cherries produce average-sized, bright red cherries in mid-summer. The cherries are similar to Nanking cherries, but sweeter and less productive. The plants are self-fertile although two plants increase fruiting.

Edible

The cherries are great for fresh eating and can be frozen for delicious winter snacks. They also make tasty juice, jelly, and are high in anthocyanins and other antioxidants.  They can be used for making pies, but it would be labor intensive removing all of the pits from the small fruit.

The Basics of Propagation

Korean bush cherry can be propagated via seed, softwood cutting, or layering.  Each fruit has one seed that requires 2 – 3-months cold stratification. The plant usually grows from seed but can also be propagated through cutting for layering.  Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged.

Korean Bush Cherry Plant Information

Korean Bush Cherry Plant Information

Softwood Cuttings

For this post we are going to take softwood cuttings.  Softwood cuttings are this year’s growth that started in the spring.  This wood is usually just slightly a different color and last year’s wood just looks a little more worn and older.

Make the Cut

Cut the softwood branches off of the plant. Then cut the branches down so they have four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with four for Korean bush cherry.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

Rooting Hormone

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  Softwood cuttings does not require very concentrated rooting hormone, whereas hardwood cuttings require more concentrated solution.

Cuttings in the Planting Medium

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the planting medium.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Keep the Leaves Wet

These little cuttings will die if the leaves dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

Leave Them Be

The cuttings need to stay in the rooting medium until they go dormant.  This usually happens by December or January timeframe.  Once they are dormant, they can be moved to pots or to their location in the yard.

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Propagating Autumn Olive

Propagating Autumn Olive

This post shows the process of propagating autumn olive using softwood cuttings and a mist irrigation system. The process involves taking cuttings during the summer, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone, and putting the cutting into a soil that drains very well.  Then you mist the leaves every five to ten minutes during daylight hours.

Autumn Olive Basics

Autumn olive is a nitrogen fixing plant that produces berries and is easy to propagate from softwood cuttings.  The botanical name for autumn olive is elaegnus umbellate and is sometimes called autumn berry.

Propagating Autumn Olive - The Plant

Propagating Autumn Olive – The Plant

It is a deciduous shrub that can grow into a small multi-trunked tree reaching as high as 20 feet. The leaves are a grayish green and looks as though it has scales on the bottom of the leaves. The leaves are about three inches long and very narrow measuring only about one inch wide.  It is often used in forest garden design to assist in repairing soil as the food forest garden matures.

Autumn olive is a drought tolerant plant that can grow in full sun or partial shade. It does prefer well drained soil and does well on the edges of forests, hillsides, and abandoned fields. Birds like the fruit and propagate the seeds. It is a very hardy plant and is usually not bothered by deer. Some view Autumn Olive as a noxious invasive weed.

First, Do This….

To start, pick the right time of year and the right wood.  Autumn olive does good with softwood and semi-softwood cuttings.  These are cuttings that are taken from this year’s new growth in mid to late summer where the wood snaps when bent.

Then, This

Then you cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with three or four.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

And now the Special Sauce

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  You generally use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood.  Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.

Cuttings in the Ground

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the ground.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Autumn Olive - Mist Bed

Propagating Autumn Olive – Mist Bed

Keep Them Wet

These little cuttings will die if the dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

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The Video

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Propagating Aronia Viking also called Viking Aronia

Propagating Aronia Viking also called Viking Aronia

This video shows the process of Propagating Aronia Viking using softwood cuttings and a mist irrigation system. The process involves taking cuttings during the summer, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone, and putting the cutting into a soil that drains very well.  Then you mist the leaves every five to ten minutes during daylight hours.

A Little About Aronia

Propagating Aronia Viking

Propagating Aronia Viking

The Latin name is Aronia melanocarpa and it has a nickname of choke berry because it is so astringent that it makes you want to choke.  It is a member of the rose family and is a deciduous cold hardy shrub, which is hardy from zone 8 down to zone 3.  It is a native to eastern North America.

In late May it has fragrant flowers giving way to fruit that matures in August.  The fruit is edible, but is very astringent.  Aronia is self-fertile and is pollinated by bees.  The Viking variety is a little shorter than some other aronia, only growing 3 to 6 feet high.

Propagating Aronia Viking is very easy and I have had about a 95% success rate.

To Start Do This….

To start, pick the right time of year and the right wood.  Aronia does good with softwood and semi-softwood cuttings.  These are cuttings that are taken from this year’s new growth in mid to late summer where the wood snaps when bent.

Next

Then you cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes.  These are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with three or four.  You then leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.  If the leaves are large, cut them in half so they do not transpire too much and dry out.

Propagating Aronia Viking1

Propagating Aronia Viking

Now the Hormones

You now dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  You use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood.  Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.

Into the Ground

Now it is time to put the cuttings into the ground.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Aronia Viking

Propagating Aronia Viking

Mist Me

These little cuttings will die if the dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

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The Video

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WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection

WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection

Yesterday I had the annual WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection on my hardwood cutting bed in Romney, WV.  The inspection itself only lasted about five minutes because I have a very small back yard setup at the moment.  But I did learn a lot from the inspector.

WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection

WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection

Hardwood Cuttings

The only plants that I have at the Romney, WV location are hardwood cuttings.  Hardwood cuttings are cuttings that you take when the plants are dormant in the middle of winter.  I simply dip the cutting in rooting hormone and stick it in the sand and let them be.  Most of the plants leafed out in the spring and were doing fine until we hit a drought in July.  I do not have a watering system set up, so I lost about a third or more of the plants due to lack of water.

Getting Ready

Before the inspector came I removed all of the dead cuttings that didn’t take root or that did take root, but later died because of the drought and no irrigation on the bed.  I also weeded the beds.  The inspector is only looking for disease and pests on the live plants that I will be selling, so by removing the weeds and dead wood, it will make his job easier.

The Inspection

The inspection itself only lasted for about five minutes.  He looked at the plants really quick, found no issues and that was that.  We then talked for over an hour about many various topics.  He stated that his job is to help educate and answer questions more than anything else.  He said that on occasion he does find pests and he helps the nursery owner find the right remediation techniques to get rid of the pest.

The inspectors make an effort to not feel threatening and that is the exact experience that I had.  He was a super nice guy that seems to really love his job and want to help the people that he serves.  He gave me his card and told me to call him any time that I have a nursery related question.

One little nugget of information he gave me is a web site called National Plant Board.  When you go to that site, there is a tab called Laws & Regulations and under that tab is a link to a page called State Law Regulation and Summary.  This page gives the laws and regulations for each state regarding the nursery business.  This past year was a pain for me looking up each individual state to see if I could ship a certain plant to that state, so this site will save a LOT of time.

Annual Inspections

WV Department of Agriculture nursery inspection process is done on an annual basis.  There are three inspectors for the state of WV and they divide the state up into thirds, so you usually get the same inspector every year.

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Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings

Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings

This post addresses two great questions I have received on propagating rooted cuttings. They are: When do you go about transplanting propagated rooted cuttings and how close together can you plant the cuttings without the roots getting tangled up? The short answer is transplanting propagated rooted cuttings is easy.  It’s just a matter of timing.  The same answer holds for how close you plant them together.

Timing

The question about transplanting rooted cuttings comes from a post I recently posted on propagating Illinois everbearing mulberry.  Since this propagation technique is using softwood cuttings that were taken in the summer, you have to at the very least wait until the plants go dormant.  All of the plants that I’m propagating with this method are deciduous, meaning the lose their leaves in the winter.  That is when they are dormant.  So the answer to the timing question is: from August to December or about four months.

Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings

Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings – Potted Up

Softwood cuttings are usually kept in a bed with a mist system keeping them moist.  Because of this they almost always need to be transplanted at some point after they get roots.  I run Great Escape Nursery and need to move all plants out of my beds when they are dormant so I can free the bed up for the next season.  The exception to this is when we are doing hardwood cuttings.  The picture above shows the few remaining plants I have left from last year that are potted up.  They went into the pots in March of 2016.

Hardwood

Hardwood cuttings are taken in the winter.  They will root over the spring and into summer, but must be left alone until they go dormant the following winter.  If they are transplanted in the spring or summer, it will shock them and likely kill them.  The best thing to do if you are not a nursery is to put the hardwood cuttings where you want them to go and leave them there.  Hardwood cuttings do not need a mist system like softwood cuttings do, so they can be placed in their final spot.

How Close Together

How close together do you put softwood cuttings?  Well the answer to that question is “it depends” 🙂  If they are going to be moved in four to six months, then they can be put closer together than if they are staying in a bed for a year or longer. It also matters as to what plant it is.  An elderberry puts out relatively large roots and needs more space than an aronia plant.  The picture below shows the spacing of the plants I have in one of my beds right now.

Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings

Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings – Spacing

With softwood cuttings I space my rows 2″ apart for the most part.  Elderberries get 4 inches.  Plant spacing in the row itself is usually 1-1/2 inches for most of my plants.  I do give elderberries about two to three inches between the plants.  One thing to keep in mind is that I’m running a nursery and ship bare root plants.  Most of them will be moved to a refrigerator in the dead of winter to keep them dormant further into the spring.  When I’m moving them into a refrigerator, an entire row is going in all at once, so I’m to too worried about digging up one plant and disturbing the one next to it because I’m taking them all at once.

Any More

These were two great questions that were asked on my YouTube channel in the comments section.  If you have any questions, please ask.  There are likely others that have the same question and it helps me get the word out when I don’t fully explain something the first time around.  For those that do comment and ask questions – Thank You!

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The Video

Check out our YouTube episode titled Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings which goes into a lot more details on this subject.

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Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

This post shows the process of propagating Illinois everbearing mulberry trees using softwood cuttings and a mist irrigation system. The process involves taking cuttings during the summer, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone, and putting the cutting into a soil that drains very well.  Then you mist the leaves every five to ten minutes during daylight hours.

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry – The Tree

First Steps

The first step is to pick the right time of year and the right wood.  Illinois everbearing mulberry does good with softwood and semi-softwood cuttings.  These are cuttings that are taken from this year’s new growth in mid to late summer where the wood snaps when bent.

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Next

Then you cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes.  These are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with three or four.  You then leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.  If the leaves are large, cut them in half so they do not transpire too much and dry out.

Go for a Dip

You now dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  You use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood.  Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry – Rooting Hormone

I’ll Bury You

Now it is time to put the cuttings into the ground.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry – Mist Bed

Shower Time

These little cuttings will die if the dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

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Any time you are going to buy something from 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!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

Roll the Video

Check out our YouTube video on this subject titled Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry.

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Hardwood Cutting Update

Hardwood Cutting Update

This is a hardwood cutting update on the cuttings I put in the ground in December of 2015.  Hardwood cuttings are cuttings from one-year-old wood that is dormant in the late fall or winter.  Softwood cuttings are cuttings from the current seasons growth that is taken in early summer through early fall.

Hardwood Cutting Update

Hardwood Cutting Update

For the picture on this post and the video below, I took cuttings in December 2015 from growth that had grown in the spring and summer of 2015. I took cuttings from my dormant plants, dipped the end in rooting hormone and stuck it in some concrete sand.  Now, six months later most are leafing out and doing well.

The nice thing about hardwood cuttings is they are relatively low maintenance.  I have only had to water them twice in the last six months.  I did have to trim some flowers and fruit off.  Other than that, they have just been sitting there growing on their own.

For more details on hardwood cuttings and to see these plants going in, see our post called Plant Propagation Cuttings.

Elderberry

I planted several hundred elderberry plants and have almost a one-hundred percent success rate on them.  I have found that elderberry is one of the easiest plants to propagate in both the winter with hardwood cuttings as well as the summer with softwood cuttings.

Next week I’m likely going to dig them up and pot them because I’m afraid the root system is getting too large and I will not be able to dig them up in another couple of months.  Once I do dig them up and pot them, they will need to be watered almost daily until they are established, so I’ll have to set up an automatic watering system.

Dappled Willow

The dappled willows have about a 75 percent success rate.  I have found that dappled willow doesn’t have a high success rate with softwood cuttings, but they do great with hardwood cuttings.

Blueberry

I have had a very low success rate with some blueberry cuttings.  Last year with the softwood cuttings I only had about a five percent success rate.  This winter the cuttings were constantly pulled out or knocked over and I only have about five percent success rate on them as well.

Nanking Cherry

Nanking cherry did not do well with hardwood cuttings.  For soft wood cuttings last year, we had a better than 75% success rate.  I’ll do some research and see if I did something wrong.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi

In the video below, I couldn’t remember what the next plant up was.  I just looked it up and it is Sweet Scarlet Goumi.  I have about a twenty-five percent success rate with the Goumi.  I had a ninety percent success rate with softwood cuttings, but I had a late freeze come in after they budded out that killed a lot of my Goumi this year.

Goji Berry

The goji berry did not do well with hardwood cuttings.  I’m sitting at 10 percent or less with the hardwood cuttings. I had an almost 100 percent success rate with softwood cuttings last year.

Weigela

Weigela does well with both hardwood and softwood cuttings.  I got close to one-hundred percent with both.

Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bushes are sitting at just under fifty percent success rate with hardwood cuttings.  We had almost one-hundred percent success rate with softwood cuttings last summer.

Concord Grapes

Concord grapes do great with hardwood cuttings.  We are sitting at seventy-five percent with hardwood cuttings.  Grapes do not fare well with softwood cuttings.

The Video

Please check out our YouTube video below that is titled Hardwood Cutting Update.

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Maypop Propagation

Maypop Propagation

Maypop propagation can be done via hardwood or softwood cuttings, layering, or by digging up rooted suckers from the mother plant.  This post is about digging up rooted suckers from the mother plant.  I posted a video on Great Escape Farms YouTube Channel that shows the steps for maypop propagation.

Maypop Propagation

Maypop Propagation

I have had a maypop, Passiflora incarnate, for three years now.  It “pops” up every May, which is how it gets its name, Maypop.  It is a vine with very showy and fragrant flowers as well as tasty fruit later in the summer or early fall.  I did a post providing Maypop Plant Information a while back.  Just click on the highlighted link for Maypop Plant Information which gives you general growing information as well as a recipe using the maypop fruit.

My vine has managed to send out roots in all directions under the ground that produce suckers.  Some of the suckers pop up more than twenty five feet away from the original planting.  Since I end up with so many suckers, I figure I might as well propagate some and move them out to the farm in West Virginia.

The way I do maypop propagation is simply by putting a shovel in the ground and make a cutting circle around the suckers about 6 inches away from the sucker.   Then I reach in with my hand and break the soil up and carefully pull the sucker and root out.  I then soak the sucker in water for about half an hour to an hour.

Once the sucker has soaked in water to keep it hydrated, I grab a pot to put it in, label the pot and then put some dirt on the bottom of the pot and then add the maypop root.  Then cover the root and water.  I also cut all leaves off except for one or two.  This will help the plant conserve water until it gets a good root system going.

Now I put the pot in an area that gets mostly shade.  I want just a little dappled sun to hit the plant for the first two weeks.  After two weeks I will move it to a spot that will give it several hours of sun and after a month to six weeks I will move it into full sun.

The YouTube video below shows how I took the suckers and put them in pots.

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maypop

maypop

Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds

Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds

This post gives you an idea of what a Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds is and why you would want to go through the time and expense to build one.

Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds

Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds

A propagation bed is nothing more than a raised bed with a planting medium that allows for plants to be rooted without rotting the roots from water saturation.  I generally use concrete sand as it allows water to pass through and allows young rooted cuttings to be easily transplanted.  The issue I have at my farm is a strong deer population due to all of the apple orchards in the area.  And when the orchards aren’t producing apples, the deer are looking for food and they love young cuttings. If you don’t have a deer problem, you don’t need to go through the expense of building one of these.  At my residence in Maryland where I do not have a deer issue, I simply use a raised bed with no other critter protection.

In order to protect my investment from the deer at the WV farm, I have built a deer proof propagation bed.  I built one this past winter that is pictured above.  It uses hog panel on the sides and four by two fencing on the front and back. It is completely enclosed and there is no way for deer to get in as long as the door is closed.  The hog panel is strong enough to put shade cloth over the top to keep the summer sun from beating down on the young tender plants.

There are several previous posts that explain the building process.   There are linked below:

Building A Plant Propagation Bed Pt1

Building A Plant Propagation Bed Pt2

Building A Plant Propagation Bed Part 3

I built four Deer Proof Plant Propagation Beds and videoed the process.  I put together a playlist of YouTube videos that shows the entire process from beginning to end, including how to set it up for winter vs. summer and how to program the intermittent mist system.

 

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Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings

Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings

This post, Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings, explains how and why I potted up several hundred rooting cuttings this weekend and provides you with a video of the progress.

Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings

Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings

This weekend I potted up several hundred plants.  The plants were rooted cuttings that have been in “beach sand” since last summer.  The plants are now well rooted and are just starting to bud out.  What I was able to finish this weekend is shown in the picture titled “Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings”.

I needed to get them out of the rooting medium (the sand) and into soil so they will grow into larger plants and so they have nutrition and not die.  The best time to transplant these little cuttings is when they are dormant so they do not suffer from shock.

The process of potting the rooted cuttings involves digging the plants up, being careful not to harm the roots of the plant I’m digging up or the surrounding plants.  Then I gently shake off all of the rooting medium (the sand) from around the roots and soak them in water for about 10 to 15 minutes to hydrate them.

While the plants are soaking in water, I pull out the number of pots I will need and label each pot so I know what the plants are.  I need to label them because I have several plants that are very similar in looks, but are different varieties.  Then I put an inch or so of dirt on the bottom of the pot and maybe a little more if the plants roots are shallow vs. deep.

Now I remove each plant from the water and put it in a pot and put soil around it.  I want the plant to be at the same depth it was in the rooting medium.  I don’t want them to be too deep or too shallow.  Be careful to not bunch the roots up.  Try to spread the roots out as it would be naturally.

More Work Ahead

More Work Ahead

Then put the pots where they will go and water them in.  Now they are good to go and as long as I keep them well watered they will survive as long as needed in the pots.

I had a good start this weekend, but did not finish because I ran out of soil.  I still have quite a few of the larger plants to pot up, but I will need quite a bit more soil to complete the transplants.  You can see the plants that are still remaining in the grow bed in the picture titled “More Work Ahead”.

Below is a YouTube video of “Time to Pot Rooted Cuttings”.  You can find other videos that show the rooted cuttings from when they first went in last year at Great Escape Farms YouTube channel.

 

 

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