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Although most vegetables in the garden are started from seeds,some farmers prefer to grow vegetables from cuttings. Plants started from cuttings are propagated in a process known as cloning. Cloned vegetables are genetically identical to their parent plant, while vegetables grown from seed may vary due to genetics. Most vegetables and herbs with stems can be started with cuttings in a process known as stem cutting.

Step 1

Take cuttings in early morning when the plant has taken up moisture from the soil.

Step 2

Place your shears approximately 6 inches from the tip of one of your plant's shoots. There should be at least 3 points, or leaf nodes, on the shoot where the plant produces a leaf. These leaf nodes are the points where the plant will produce roots when planted. Clip the shoot.

Step 3

Strip off the leaves from the nodes on the lower two-thirds of the cutting. Place the cutting in a plastic sandwich bag along with 1 tbsp. water to keep the cutting moist.

Step 4

Prepare a rooting mix by filling a seedling tray with peat moss. Soak the peat moss with water from a watering can until it is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 5

Dip your cutting in rooting hormone and bury it in a seedling tray so that it is three-fourths of the way below the surface of the peat moss. Cover your tray with a plastic tray cover and place it in a sunny windowsill just out of direct sunlight.

Step 6

Check the tray daily to ensure that your peat moss has not dried out. Water the tray when the peat moss dries out and mist the plants to keep the humidity up until the plants root. Your cuttings should root within 14 days.

Step 7

Remove the tray cover when the plants take root. Continue to grow the plants this way until they outgrow the seeding tray. Transplant them to larger containers until you are ready to move them outside and plant them in the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • Seedling tray
  • Seedling pots
  • Plastic tray cover
  • Mist bottle
  • Watering can

Source:  Tracy S. Morris

Additional Tips to remember for planting.

1. Compost needs time to integrate and stabilize in the soil. Apply two to three weeks prior to planting.

2. There is an easy way to mix compost into your soil without a lot of back breaking work: Spread the compost over your garden in the late fall, after all the harvesting is done. Cover with a winter mulch such as hay or chopped leaves and let nature take its course. By spring, the melting snow and soil organisms will have worked the compost in for you.

3. Like vining vegetables, but don’t have the room? Train your melons, squash, and cucumbers onto a vertical trellis or fence. Saves space and looks pretty too. You can use decorative urns with sticks and string to help them climb anywhere in your garden/yard.

4. Garden vegetables that become over-ripe are an easy target for some pests. Remove them as soon as possible to avoid detection.

5. Over watering is worse than under watering. It is easier to revive a dry plant than try to dry out drowned roots.

6. When planting a flower or vegetable transplant, deposit a handful of compost into each hole. Compost will provide transplants with an extra boost that lasts throughout the growing season.

7. Insects can’t stand plants such as garlic, onions, chives and chrysanthemums. Grow these plants around the garden to help repel insects.

8. Plants will do best if they are well suited to your growing area. Take some time to read up and choose plants accordingly.

9. For easy peas, start them indoors. The germination rate is far better, and the seedlings will be healthier and better able to fight off pests and disease.

10. If you’re short on space, garlic, leeks and shallots make excellent container plants. They tend to have few insect or disease problems and don’t require much room for roots.

11. Another reason to use natural and organic fertilizers and soil amendments: earthworms love them! Earthworms are extremely beneficial in the vegetable garden; increasing air space in the soil and leaving behind worm castings. Do what you can to encourage earthworms in your soil.

12. Water your garden in the early morning to conserve moisture loss and to help avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that are often spread by high humidity levels.

13. Some vegetables actually become better after a first frost, including kale, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

14. When transplanting tomatoes, cover the stem with soil all the way up to the first set of leaves. This greatly encourages root growth, making a stronger, healthier plant.

15. Healthy soil means a thriving population of microbes, earthworms and other organisms. A soil that has “good tilth” will produce robust garden plants that are better able to resist pests and disease.

16. A simple five percent increase in organic material (compost) quadruples the soil’s ability to store water.

Source: PlanetNatural.com

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