Tag Archive vegetative propagation

Byadmin

Cabbage Experiment (Mixed Results So Far), Potato Onions and Brassica Cuttings

I’ve spent quite a bit of time (nearly a year now) on one of my favourite experiments. According to Bill Mollison (one of the two founders of permaculture) you can grow a cabbage, chop its head off, watch 4 or 5 new small cabbage heads appear where the main one once was and then remove them, bung them in the soil and grow new cabbages. Well, I set about confirming this (what appears to be a little dodgy) information by trying it out, in reality, in my back garden. I choppped the heads off two of my greyhound cabbages, waited for multiple small ones to regrow and removed them carefully using my thumbnail to get in right up against the main stalk of the plant. From previous experience taking cuttings from perennial kales & kailaan I know it is at this point that roots will grow, where the cutting meets the main stalk. Read More

Byadmin

Taking Cuttings from Cabbage

Cloned cabbageI am posting this article to collect in one place all the information I have on taking cuttings (or cloning) the humble cabbage. It is a physical experiment I am conducting based on a sentence in a permaculture book. That book said that once you had cut the head of a cabbage you could wait for smaller ones to grow then replant them in the soil for new cabbages. This seems a handy technique for those of us who would rather spend nothing than waste good money on seed. If you add up the price of all the seed packets you buy each year it really adds up. And for us sustainability freaks, we really want to beat the greengrocer. Read More

Byadmin

Dividing scorzonera, vegetative propagation [updated].

Dividing ScorzoneraI must apologise for the length of time between posts but my garden is in a cool temperate zone in the northern hemisphere  and we are in the depths of winter.  There is not much time to garden with the reduced daylight hours and nothing is growing much anyway. It is quite entertaining to look at England’s climate through the eyes of my Amrikan friend who is stunned to find he is able to overwinter brassicas, artichokes and such things here. We complain of the weather but really we are very fortunate, especially in the south of England. Read More

Byadmin

Looking back at my gardening year, 2013

So, what have I learnt from the past year? Well, as usual my gardening year hasn’t provided the sort of yield I wanted, or if gardening magazines are to be believed I should expect. I don’t know why I should expect my gardening abilities to be as great as Monty Don or Geoff Lawton, especially only being 5 years in, I am a beginner. I do of course hamper myself with ridiculous rules like not importing fertility, especially as I am practically guaranteed to have awesome crops if I dump half a ton of horse manure on the allotment. Read More

Byadmin

Overwintering Chilis, Aubergines and African Blue Basil

My ChilisThat’s it, it is too cold and time for my annual attempt to overwinter tender plants. I should of course give up such a mad endeavour and accept the british climate is what it is and tender plants are what they are. But hope springs eternal and the winter is not that long, is it? It has not all been total failure, two years ago I succeeded in overwintering three chili plants (thus proving it wasn’t a fluke) which cropped well again the next year but succumbed to the next winter. It was gutting.  Read More

Byadmin

Vegetative Propagation of Cabbages (Taking Cuttings) [updated]

IMAG0791 copyAs reported previously I have put a lot of effort into reproducing my plants without using seeds. Seeds are uncertain, tricky and prone to being wiped out by slugs and damping off. They also cost money and time. With such things as broccoli and kale I can simply pull off a sprout from the main stalk and bung it in some compost. Cabbages don’t have sprouts like this but will grow sprouts if you cut the main head off. This is well known as a technique to get a second harvest but not as a means of taking cuttings. Read More

Byadmin

Leek vegetative propagation, bulblets (clones).

Leek bulblets at base of leek flower stalkI’ve been told that if you are collecting seed from leeks and the seed hasn’t gone black by now (21st September) then drastic action is required. So I’ve cut the seed heads, put them in bags and taken them home. Collecting the seeds was not the only sustainable technique i did with the leeks today, i also dug them up looking for bulblets. Read More

Byadmin

Striking cuttings from cabbages and a visit to Jekka’s Herb Farm

Rooted cabbage cutting (Greyhound)More experimentation has yielded results!. Well confirmed another’s research which is just as good. You’ll read such interesting sentences in permaculture books as “cut the head of a cabbage and when new heads appear replant them”. And then you think to yourself – what really?. Well, I tried it and it has worked, as confirmed by the photo to the left. I cut the head from one of my cabbages, ate it with my in-laws and let the stump resprout about half a dozen mini cabbage heads which I pulled off the stump and bunged in pots of compost. I then smashed the stumps with hammers, threw them on the compost heap and waited for the mini cabbages to sprout roots. With much scepticism I might add. Read More

Byadmin

Egyptian Onions / Tree Onions / Walking Onions – Harvesting

Egyptian topsetting onionsThis interesting onion has many names but all the variety names pretty much behave the same way. I’ll call it the Egyptian Onion from now on (or EO). It propagates by dividing like a shallot as well as by bulbils (or what most of us call incorrectly sets) which grow at the top of flower stalks in a clump. You may get flowers as well but what interests those of us that bother to hunt down this plant is that the bulbils grow where the flower should be. It is attractive in the garden, a talking point to visitors and edible. Read More

Byadmin

Vegetative propagation of annuals

Perennial Vegetables by Martin Crawford (along with Forest Gardening by the same) is my bible. All the pages are falling out because I read it so often. I agree with the basic premise of it: that annual vegetables are hard work and suck the ground dry of nutrients, and that perennial vegetables give year on year. I don’t agree that all of the vegetables included in his books are actually that edible. The idea is that you replace all your annual veg with perennial versions – so replace carrots with scorzonera, ragged jack kale with daubenton kale, onions with shallots and peas with perennial sweet peas. Unfortunately eating sweet peas (lathyrus) will paralyze your legs if you eat them as a staple for weeks on end. So…bog standard annual green peas it is then!. Read More

%d bloggers like this: