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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Getting to the root of the problem
I really didn't understand the process. I probably still don't.
But at least now I've got some spiffy new equipment to play with this season.
The local nursery has a young fella that will discuss cuts and cloning in great detail at the drop of a hat.
I dropped my hat several times and after my 3rd visit, I came home with lots of rock wool plugs, a nifty root germinator, some fresh root stimulator powder and a bagful of determination.
The new germinator will only hold 6 dozen cuttings. (3 dozen if I give them each extra spacing like in the photo.) Sounds like a lot, right?
Wrong. The backyard is 100' deep and 160' wide.
I want to hedge it. Yeah... crazy.
It's darn hard to find something to fit the bill: beautiful, fast growing, low maintenance, evergreen, can reach 10' tall - and DEER WON'T EAT IT.
I've decided on HOLLY.
I'll need --- quite a few.
To buy such volume would bankrupt me.
But if I can get the knack of rooting cuts, I've got a shot.
Aside from the new germinator, I had an old non-standard (won't fit under any that the nursery sells) germinator tray I found in a dumpster. I decided to cut it into 9-cell squares so I could root cuttings from non-holly plants (like spirea, dogwood, weigelia, lilac...)
I took my Dremel tool and sliced it up. Well, it wasn't so much cutting, per se, but the high-speed rotating blade melted through the plastic, really gooping up the tool. Que sera.
But I was happy with the results.
A 9-cell square fits neatly under a recycled biscotti bin.
Two 9-cell squares fit neatly under recycled store-bought greens container. I'll use this one for really short cuttings.
There. Equipment in place. Temps rising outside. Buds swelling. Hopes high.
If I plant hollies 3-feet apart, I'll only need 120 for the backyard - if I don't stagger them for a double hedge. (Gee, that does sound nice...)
Ladies and gentlemen, grab your clippers!
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