The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Fig-rooting experiment followup

Fig budThe figs, gooseberries, and mulberries sitting in pots under our table are starting to root!  Some cuttings are as-yet inconclusive, which I suspect means they're growing roots, but more slowly than their peers, while others are sturdily held into the soil and are already beginning to leaf out.

Even though I can't proclaim this experiment a success until I repot the cuttings and see good root growth, I'm ready to pass judgement on the two different hypotheses I was roughly testing with this project.  Hypothesis A said that I can root hardwood fig cuttings by placing them directly into a pot with no covering, using a heat pad underneath for a week or two, then treating them just like any other potted plant (water lightly as needed to keep soil moist but otherwise ignore).  So far, I'd say this method of rooting figs is definitely preferable to any I've tried in the past --- easy and effective.

Experimental cuttings and control cuttingsHypothesis B said that a willow-extract rooting hormone would make fig cuttings root in greater numbers.  This doesn't seem to be the case...but only because both the control and hormone-treated cuttings have already rooted at 78 to 100%.  (The range in numbers is because I'm not positive whether the ones that feel like they're loosely rooted actually are.)

The great part of this experiment in fig rooting is that I'll probably end up with at least a dozen baby fig trees in the nursery row this summer and in the orchard next year.  Thanks so much, Brian, for sharing such vibrant cuttings!  Sarah, you can definitely have a few of these figlets if they keep thriving at the rate they're going.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi! I love reading your blog. I also hope your cuttings all thrive. If you have way too many I would love a few of figs and especially gooseberry. I am so wanting a gooseberry patch. My favorite jam and pie. I will pay for shipping etc. The cuttings I've traded for from others are hardier than what I've purchased from nurseries. None have survived at all. I've bought nine (9) gooseberry and they've all died so I thought I'd ask for a rooted cutting. I may have better luck. Oh, I thought it was me or my soil etc that caused the plants to die, but after checking with several others who ordered the same as myself theirs died too. So,if you have a few you cold spare I'd love some. Sincerely, Lisa-Marie in Maine.

Comment by Lisa-Marie Haugmoen Tue Mar 26 12:55:08 2013

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