Sunday, May 19, 2013

Propagating FIG trees from cuttings #GardenCuizine FIGS: fabulous for dietary fiber

Propagating Fig Trees
Gardeners propagate fig trees using various methods either from cuttings or air layering. I'm going to try propagating fig trees from cuttings. Our little, lone fig tree (unknown ID) is taking forever to yield figs. Over the past 5 or so years, the growth has been quite slow. It started out as literally a 3-foot stick. Now it is 5 feet with a small amount of branching at the top. The few figs that we thought we saw last year - disappeared! They probably got eaten by squirrels. After years of anticipating fresh figs, we're still waiting... The good news is that there are other varieties of figs to grow that may actually yield us a fig harvest. The same goes for you in your USDA zone. If at first you don't succeed, try another type of fig tree.

At a Dave's Garden Mid-Atlantic region plant swap yesterday, we received a generous handful of fig tree cuttings from a fellow Dave's Gardener who thinks her tree could be a common fig cultivar named 'Celeste'

We weren't planning on starting fig trees from cuttings, but since we received them - it's sure worth a try. I'm going to try rooting the fig cuttings as recommended by New England Gardener on his 'How to Grow a Fig Tree from a Cutting' YouTube video:

Propagating Fig tree cuttings 
from a dormant tree
Stage One

1) Get cuttings from a dormant fig tree that grows in or near your USDA zone

2) Wet newspaper; squeeze out excess water
3) Wrap each cutting in newspaper, keep the tips sticking out
4) Place cutting(s) into a plastic bag. New England Gardener uses a baggie. Our cuttings were longer than his and would only fit in a plastic shopping bag

5)  Place in a warm area out of direct sunlight for a few weeks. We put ours on our microwave next to the refrigerator, which generates some warmth
6) Open the bag daily for some air circulation; then close again. 
7) After 2-3 weeks, check for developed roots and proceed with Stage Two 

 I'll update this post regardless of the outcome. Fingers are crossed that this works. And, if it does, we may end up with a Fig Tree forest.

Happy and Healthy Gardening! 

UPDATES: week one: have been checking and airing out the cuttings daily; noticed some mold starting on the ends that had some leaf buds starting to show, therefore uncovered the ends. Plastic bag still covers the slightly moist newsprint-covered stems. Plan to continue to air out daily by opening the bag just for a moment or so and then covering again.
  • 5/26/13 - as expected, the newspaper near the open end started to dry out. Took a look deeper at the covered stems and some cuttings still looked like some mold is growing. This could be because my cuttings were not completely dormant, they had some growth showing. Unwrapped all the cuttings and put in a vase w/water. New plan is to put each cutting in its own recycled water bottle w/moistened peat moss and see what happens... 
  • 6/7/13- well, I decided not to put the cuttings in peat moss; instead, they all got dipped in rooting hormone and placed in potting soil. We didn't have enough clear plastic bottles to use, which would have been nice to view root (if any) development. Will have to wait and see. They were on our porch. Today, the pots are in our driveway getting a good rain soaking from tropical storm Andrea that is passing through our region. 
  • 7/28/13 - they all appear dead. I'm not going to toss them yet just in case there is a chance that one will show a sign of life in the future. A member of Dave's Gardens who also received cuttings from the same source as me, reported having success wrapping her fig cuttings in moist newspaper and waiting patiently. Perhaps I should have ignored the mold and kept our fig cuttings in the newsprint longer rather than jumping the gun and planting them in soil before having any roots.
Related Links:
Uncommon Nutrition from the Common Fig - Ficus carica

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day! #GardenCuizine

Happy Mother's Day!

Enjoyed a visit to a local garden center with Mom today. Of course, when we saw hostas named June, we had to get them! An easy sale for the garden center.

Happy Mother's Day to all, and a big Mother's Day greeting to some very special new mommies we love: Kristine and Kim. We wish you many blessings and can't wait to meet your beautiful baby girls: Alexandra June and Emily Ann.

Now time to get in the kitchen and bake Mom some of her favorite Sesame Regina Biscotti.

Photo collage Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Today in our Garden #GardenCuizine #gardenchat Opening Day for local Farmers' Markets!

Click on the photo for full view
Today In Our Garden 
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)

May 4, 2013
Our South Jersey garden is busting out with blooms and seedlings everywhere. Hummingbirds have arrived too. And yes, dandelions and weeds are part of the blooming frenzy here in our neck of the woods. We're trying to weed, weed and weed. Loved a sign posted on Facebook this morning which read, "Come over - knock - if no answer, pull weeds!"

Today is opening day for many Jersey Farmers Markets who begin offering locally grown Jersey Fresh produce, making this an exciting time for better health and nutrition. Think Garden-to-Table or Farm-to-Table... your table
Enhance your health 
by increasing your physical activity and by growing and eating 
more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Our arugula is going to seed now. Just let it bloom and go to seed, then save the seeds and plant some again. Arugula is a must for every kitchen garden. You can never find arugula commercially with decent flavor. Once you grow your own, you can taste the difference and see for yourself. 
Indoor Seedlings
Inside we have trays of veggie seedlings growing that will eventually make their way to our gardens as well as shared with gardening friends. Our seedlings include: dill weed, tomatoes, pepperoncini; amaranth, cypress vine, zinnias, nasturtiums, salvias, Japanese morning glories, Spanish flag vine, Nierembergia and hollyhocks.
Strawberry plants (shown photo collage) are flowering now, which means strawberries will soon be on the way. 
Bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is looking good -  swallowtail butterflies will surely love it and we'll love using the seeds in recipes
After all the weeding and digging, a few undug potatoes pieces must have remained down under the earth and low and behold, potato seedlings are sprouting up everywhere in areas where we had planted them last year. This is good news since we didn't buy any seed potatoes this season. 
Our perennial comphrey herb (Symphytum officinale), located in a part-shade corner of our veggie and herb garden, is alive and well. Hummingbirds love comphreys tubular blooms.
Over the years perennial oregano will grow into an established healthy mound to provide you with plenty of flavorful leaves to snip for your recipes.
Money plants
Our home is surrounded by lavender purple Money plant (Lunaria annua) blooms that seem to naturalize beautifully when left alone. Other names for this beautiful flower include Honesty, Moonwort and Silver Dollar because the seed pods look round like silver dollars.
Plan a Garden
It's not to late to start a garden if you haven't already. Remember you can grow veggies and herbs in pots too if you don't have a yard. Or, you can ask to start a garden at work or join a community, neighborhood garden. 
Wherever you garden, Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Thanks Mom!!
Gardens encourage all family members to increase their physical activity. Mom has been doing just that and has become our official garden weeder this season. She has done a fantastic job of reclaiming our garden. Thanks Mom!!
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.