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penandpike

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have posted this in another forum, but want to share it with you too.

I was very frustrated when losing some very well rooted cuttings due to rot after planting, so I came up with this very simple technique for dealing and protecting cuttings from mold and rot.
I'm using 100%  small stone, rock pieces (in my case mosaic)  around and under the cutting and then suround that with good poting mix or compost. The idea here is to:

1.Achieve no transplant shock when moving the cutting from one media to another.
2.Provide very well drained structure around the cutting to prevent mold and rot.
3.Providing food for the plant.

As you can see I use a small tube which holds the mosaic and the cutting in the middle, then suround it with soil and after that I pull the tube out of the cup. After surrounding the cutting with the  the mosaic I put just LITTLE BIT of soil on top of it (but not touching the cutting) to prevent drying
If you want you can start the cutting right this away or you can  root it first with one of the methods available.

         


I hope This will be helpful for some of you!

P.S. I started this technic using only perelit in the middle, but since there are some really small, fine particles in it, It tends to hold more moisture then needed so I discarded it and changed to mosaic. I was surprised to pay only 3$ for 40kg bag of mosaic. :-)


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Pen
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nypd5229

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Reply with quote  #2 
I saw this on the other forum. Very informative and makes alot of sense. I have tried many different types of propagation methods over the last year.

For me it wasn't transplant shock as much as acclimation to sun and 1 gallon pot. You may call it transplant shock but it seems going from a humid condition to out side temperatures shocked the plant and didn't allow natural photosynthesis to take place.

Right now I am using my self watering soil mix of Peat moss, Vermiculite, and Perlite in a 7:2:1 ratio with very good results so far. I have an opaque bin with a heat lamp over it to help with light adaptation from the start. This time I plan on letting it get as root bound as possible before going from 16 oz cups to 1 gallon pots. The bin is hovering around 80 to 85 % humidity. Last year it was at 90 to 100 % with bad results.

The lower humidity is allowing roots to develop quicker than top growth. Last year I barely had any roots on most with 8 to 10 inches of top growth. this was obviously not enough root mass to support the plant as it acclimated to the outside.

Using the lamp is allowing the inside of the bin to stay dry so the humidity in the cups is not staying wet constantly.

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Dominick
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Reply with quote  #3 
I had considered using straight perlite under the cutting, and my potting mix on top, but hadn't gotten around to experimenting.

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Reply with quote  #4 
penandpike,
How often do you end up watering with such well draining material directly surrounding the cutting ? Once a week ? Do you water just the central area ?
Thanks.

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penandpike

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Reply with quote  #5 
The best thing about this system is that it is nearly impossible to over water the plant. (you can water it often) Even though, I don't like doing that and I water only if I see that soil is getting  dry it really depends on the soil.( mine takes a week or more) After surrounding the cutting with the  the mosaic I put just LITTLE BIT of soil on top of it (but not touching the cutting) to prevent drying. For the roots to appear there is no need for moisture only high humidity is enough. Right now I have some 100 cuttings and haven't lost a single one. 
nypd5229 I never use any bins. After planting the cutting in the cup it just stays in the room. I used to use peat as well but if it drys out it's hard to water it and I stopped using it. I have found tons of well composted cow manure ( that noone seems to want) I mix it only with some rotten pine needles like 4:1, and that's it. When I take the plant out in the spring I put them in the shade for some time before exposing to full sun. 
Pen

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Pen
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Reply with quote  #6 
Way to go Pen! That's what this forum is all about....trying something different and sharing success! I will be building 4 small 4x4 cold frames and will try your technique in one of them. Job well done!
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Dennis
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Reply with quote  #7 
Pen, where do you purchase mosaic in your area?
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Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

penandpike

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Reply with quote  #8 
I saw some in our garden centers, but was much more expensive. (IMO only because their use is decoration)  The bag I got from a local building materials retailer. There were few piles out side with different grade (size) mosaic as well that, were even cheaper.
Pen    

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Pen
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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Pen! I found a good source just minutes away. On my way there now. Thanks again!
Dennis

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Dennis
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Reply with quote  #10 

It's not clear to me when you use the composted cow manure but I tried using compost in my rooting medium last year. Many of the cuttings rooted very well but I lost most of them to carbon dioxide build up from the compost. I learned the hard way that compost can be very harmful to new roots.


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Susan

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penandpike

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Reply with quote  #11 
I use the manure for potting the cuttings. I seriously doubt that it was the CO2 that killed your plants. As a matter of fact I have never heard CO2 was that much toxic. I use different kind of compost and never had any problems with any of them. There might have been some BAD material in you compost bin. For example walnut leafs are toxic. Any way the method described above provides excellent aeration.  
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Pen
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Boris

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Reply with quote  #12 

Susan,

one should know very well the difference between a mature compost and immature compost. The latter is harmful to the plants. In my town, for example, specialized places sell immature leaf compost. It is blackened by the temperature that bacteria has created in the huge pile, but is very far from being mature. The mature compost should be just black dirt, which will sink if thrown in a bucket of water. The immature one will float in the water. I do not know what happened in your case, but I hope it will be helpful to the community to know these things about the compost.

possum_trot

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Reply with quote  #13 

I make my compost myself and it is very good and very mature. Penandpike, you might want to look at the post "bad luck with cuttings" for information on compost and co2.


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Susan

Brown County, Indiana
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Evesgarden

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Reply with quote  #14 
You are awesome Pen. I think this is going to be the answer I've been searching for. I will try to find some mosaic in my area. Your system makes much sense to me. Like others, I find that my rooted cuttings do really well, and then collapse just before or soon after transfer to the gallon pots. I will use your system for my next batch of cuttings and leave them in the cups a little longer. Thank you for sharing this information.

Eve
Buffalo, NY
zone 5-6
penandpike

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Reply with quote  #15 
Susan,
I looked at the post  Rotten luck with cuttings and I can assure you that your compost didn't kill your plants because of CO2 build up. On the other hand it might have killed them for the same reason I lost my plants before inventing this technic. And this reason is - to much moisture around the cutting.  Compost is mostly organic matter which holds a lots of water and has the property of something like a soil glue (That's why it is used for erosion control and sprayed mixed with water on top of slopes) So too much moisture glued to a fragile cutting leads to mold and rot. Compost is an excellent soil with wonderful properties and you should continue using it. As you have said it your self the roots just love it.
If you read post #5 again you will see that i wrote: After surrounding the cutting with the  the mosaic I put just LITTLE BIT of soil on top of it (but not touching the cutting) to prevent drying. I wrote that because I've experienced it before. Even little bit of compost touching the cutting can compromise it.
Try this method and compost again and you'll see it will work.
Evesgarden Thank you

P.S. Hope you understand my english, cause it's not my first language.
Pen

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Pen
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Reply with quote  #16 
Pen,
What would you think of using perlite in place of mosaic?
I know that perlite will retain some water but it is used mainly to promote drainage.

Frank

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Frank
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penandpike

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Reply with quote  #17 
Frank,
I wrote it in post #1 but here it is again
I started this technique using only perelit in the middle, but since there are some really small, fine particles in it, It tends to hold more moisture then needed so I discarded it and changed to mosaic. Any way you can use perlit if there are no small particles in it. You can also sieve some sand and use the largest pieces only (2,3-4mm)
Pen

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Pen
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Reply with quote  #18 
Pen--Very interesting technique! It makes a lot of sense, and ought to be very helpful to a lot of fig growers. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.
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Reply with quote  #19 
Hey Pen. I tried this last year using coarse perlite with a bunch of cuttings and forgot to tell you that it worked great for me. Especially when using a hotter mix. The cutting itself does not get covered in salts and is in much better shape to absorb water. I will be trying it again. Thanks.
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Reply with quote  #20 
Awsome I like it. Wonder if fish tank rock would work?
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Grasa

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Reply with quote  #21 
This and a lady's stocking and some gnat proof dome and we in the NW will be pros!  We have to try to see if works in our climate also. 
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Grasa
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Reply with quote  #22 
I used to use pool filter sand in some of my evergreen mixes. It's not really sand, more like pummeled quartz or other stone that resembles a very very coarse sand. It worked well. The photo of the mosaic reminds me of the look of it. 
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Reply with quote  #23 
Hello Pen,

Thank you for sharing. I have a quick question. I understand that this technique is useful to control moisture in the pot, but how this helps with repoting?

Thank you

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JR

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Reply with quote  #24 
Pen, You mention that walnut leaves are toxic in compost.... My project this weekend is to get some trenching/irrigation going so I can plant some fig trees along my fenceline, which happens to be located right next to my neighbor's walnut tree.  How concerned should I be?
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Reply with quote  #25 
Experiment with Aquarium rock

I have never tried Aquarium Rock and since it was mentioned here I thought I thought I would give it a try.  I used the Pink rock for visibility.  The mix is with Peat Moss, the outer is my preferred potting mix.

Thx for the thread, this is why I hang around, great innovation here, great sharing.


EDIT
Updated picture of cutting, last pict, sorry for quality

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jpeg DSC02431.JPG (164.21 KB, 42 views)
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jpeg DSC02446.JPG (163.96 KB, 23 views)


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Thx, glad to be here

Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
Waskom Tx Zone 7B/8

Wish list: anything anyone wants me to have. LSU RED.  Any LSU fig.

penandpike

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Reply with quote  #26 
I am happy some of you tryed this technique with a succes. Lately  I have found another very promising material that can be used (beside mosaic and coarse perlite). It is called  Zeolite 
 
Wikipedia: It provides a source of slowly released potassium. If previously loaded with ammonium, the zeolite can serve a similar function in the slow release of nitrogen. Zeolites can also act as water moderators, in which they will absorb up to 55% of their weight in water and slowly release it under the plant's demand. This property can prevent root rot and moderate drought cycles.
We should all add some of it in the soilmix as well. You can also use Zeolite in your bottles of drinking water with great health benefits as it absorbs toxins ext.
Ivasilr,I don't see any problems for repoting, and actualy you can start your cutting strait into a big pot.with this technique.
JR, It is the Black Walnut that is most toxic. And since it has the best rootstock, most trees have Black walnut roots. It is the roots of the walnut that make the real toxins. Unless you are sure your neighbor's walnut tree is not the Black one I don't think it is a good idea to plant your figs near it.

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Pen
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JR

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Reply with quote  #27 
Thanks, Pen.  I'm 99% sure the neighbor's tree does not have the black walnut root stock, but is just a rogue English walnut volunteer (no graft union, etc.).  This fig thing is new to me so any bit of info helps!  What started out 3 weeks ago as a passing fancy with figs has grown into a full-blown overprotective commitment :)

Thanks again to the Forum-


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Reply with quote  #28 
I tried this method using aquarium rock recently since I am unable to find mosaic in my area.  I was a bit concerned that I was damaging the roots as I (gently as possible) sprinkled the small rocks over the roots inside the tube.  I was also wondering about shocking the roots since it seems like the environment that the roots formed in (moss or promix) is so different from the aquarium rock and then there's the question of roots penetrating the aquarium rock stratum.  It's been about a week and I haven't seen any roots reach the walls of the cup where they can be seen.   Of course, they may just be slow in appearing because the temperature is a bit lower than optimal (high 60's) but I was wondering what Danny's or anyone else's experience has been using aquarium rock.  Thanks.
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dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #29 
UPDATE
The aquarium gravel continues to be fine, cutting is flourishing with two leaves.  So far it appears to be a viable filler to ensure drainage.  I am going to use a small construction gravel next, lots cheaper.

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Thx, glad to be here

Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
Waskom Tx Zone 7B/8

Wish list: anything anyone wants me to have. LSU RED.  Any LSU fig.
lesstime

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Reply with quote  #30 
any new updates? i plan to either use (aquarium) gravel too but i want to know which one is the best?
dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #31 
Bump
To show results of methodology

Attached Images
jpeg DSC02446.JPG (163.96 KB, 22 views)


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Thx, glad to be here

Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
Waskom Tx Zone 7B/8

Wish list: anything anyone wants me to have. LSU RED.  Any LSU fig.

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