Lessons learned from fig rooting failures
I felt much better about my
two previous fig-rooting failures when the experts explained that rooting
anything is dependent on a dozen different conditions, so you can think
you're doing the same thing and get completely different results from
different batches. Nevertheless, I'm also pretty sure I did
several things wrong in my previous fig-rooting experiments, so I'm
hopeful I'll see success in round three.
I'm pretty sure my stump
dirt is just fine as
a rooting medium, so I'm repeating that part of the procedure. However,
I think I was actually keeping things too damp and hot previously, thus
I'm also opting to leave
off the humidity dome (aka plastic bag) I'd previously put over top of
my pots. While necessary for softwood cuttings (if you don't have
a misting setup), holding in too much moisture can actually be a bad
idea with hardwood cuttings.
So fig rooting
experiment 3 is going to be ultra simple. I snipped the terminal
buds off any cuttings that had them, cut the bottoms of all the
cuttings to expose fresh tissue (since they'd been sent through the
mail), and pushed them most of the way into a pot of stump dirt.
I put four pots partially on a heating pad on low, and will water them
if the soil seems to be drying up.
I now know that an
absence of leaves is good news early on. You want the cuttings to
be putting all of their energy into root growth, so I won't worry if
the twigs don't leaf out for several weeks. That's also why too
much heat is a bad thing --- it can tempt the plants to use up fleeting
carbohydrates above ground before they have enough roots to become
active. Our house is pretty cool in the winter, though, so I
figure a heating pad on low will help rather than hurt.
Now it's just a matter
of waiting and hoping. Maybe three will be the charm? (By
the way, Brian also gave me a few Hinnonomuki Red Gooseberry cuttings,
which I'm treating the same way. Thanks so much for the excellent
Our chicken waterer makes care of the backyard flock clean, easy, and fun.
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