Propagation is Cheaper than Purchasing

Hey Everyone!

Today Justin and I went to the store with a mission. We really needed to get Frank (our rabbit) more kale and we were almost out of milk. So, instead, I bought garden stuff.

First we went to Kroger where we bought milk ($2 a gallon! Wooh!), new toothbrushes and some chamomile tea. Justin has been pretty strung up lately, so we’re getting him some relaxing stuff. Chamomile tea with ginger, valerian, that kind of stuff.

We were completely appalled by the lack of organic produce selections, no ginger root to be seen and the kale was pathetic. Instead, we set off for Meijer. First I had to go through the gardening section. Nothing has changed, the seed selection still sucks, but I go through anyway. When we got to produce, Justin went off to get Kale and I noticed the potato section. I’m planning on growing sweet potatoes, but I don’t want to pay $35 for 48 slips. So, instead, I bugged the people working there and got some 3lb bags of organic sweet potatoes brought out. I chose organic because they are not treated with “Bud Nip” and don’t resist sprouting. So I grabbed a bag, a whopping $4 for 3lbs. Then I noticed potted herbs. So I snagged a Rosemary for $2.50. They germinate so terribly from seed that I decided to buy one and attempt propagation.

Then I got distracted and bought a nice looking parsnip, ginger, took a few of those produce bags for the cuttings, and some root beers.

This is the rosemary post operation. I took 7 cuttings from the plant. I made sure to clip them near a leaf node, strip the leaves and I have a jar of rooting powder just for this sort of thing.

Here’s all the cuttings wrapped up in produce bags. I planted them in paper cups and put in a straw to hold the bag up. Between the grow light and the semi-transparent bags, they should be pretty set on light requirements. I’ll check them in a month or so to see if they have rooted.

These are most of the sweet potatoes. I cut them in half and put them in a casserole dish of water (1/2-1 inch). I’ll change the water every couple of days and I should see roots fairly soon. I know many people prop them with toothpicks in a jar, but I’ve seen it done this way as well. I’m hoping to get at least 50 slips off these, which I’m sure I will.

For only spending $6.50 on plants today, I may very well have purchased $60 worth of garden plants, if they all survive. I’ll be doing the same thing this coming fall. I will choose some sweet potatoes to become plants next year and I will take cuttings from the rosemary that has grown all summer. I’ll keep you updated on the process, but I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve got a whole bunch of paper cups waiting for these sweet potatoes! I can’t wait to see them sprout! Once they do, I will move them to a more well-lit area.

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