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Lifestyle Gardening: Cuttings in the Green House

(mid tempo music) (upbeat music) – Hello again and welcometo Lifestyle Gardening.

I'm Kim Todd and we'vegot another great program for you this afternoon.

Today we'll be looking atgetting you started early with cuttings in the greenhouse.

We'll see more great examplesof western ornamentals, and we'll talk aboutpruning your fruit trees.

To get us started todaywe're going to help you with some tips onmail order plants.

It's really fun to browsethrough the colorful catalogs you get each year, andwe'll help you figure out how to get what youwant to try this season.

(mid tempo music) Good gardeners, bad gardeners,starting out gardeners and plant nerds really loveto get their hands on plants especially ones that mightbe a little bit unusual.

We have lots ofopportunities to do that starting during the dormantseason or in the winter, and of course, buyinglocal is always great, but there's not much tobuy locally right now unless you're goingafter the house plants.

You can, however, useold-fashioned catalogs, the ones that comein the real mail and have colored coversand great pictures, or go online and most ofthose companies of course, have the same catalog online.

A lot of things tokeep in mind however about buying mail order plants.

First off, we alwaystell people to make sure you check the zone, and thatwould be the growing zone in which you live, rememberthat those zones stretch all the way across thecountry, and zone four or five in Nebraska may or maynot be the same zone as it is in Washingtonor on the West Coast.

So you look for thezone first, and then, pick out the plants youlove, take a look at exactly how they're goingto be shipped to you.

This is really important.

People can be disappointedin a mail order plant because they have anexpectation of size that really doesn't match whatthe supplier is going to do.

As an example, you'll seethe words bareroot plant and you'll see a size,12 inches to 18 inches.

Bareroot plants are shippeddifferently mail order than ones that comein a small container.

A good supplier of barerootplants will ship them only during very specifictimes of the year.

They will be very wellpacked, either in peat moss or excelsior orshredded newspaper.

And then typically putin a bag of some sort that will helphold that moisture while they're being shipped.

That doesn't mean, however,they're not going to dry out, especially if you have notchosen a fast shipping method.

So you wanna check on theshipping method as well.

And if it is a plantthat you really want, you've paid a bit of moneyfor it, you wanna make sure that it is not languishingin the back of the truck or in the post office someplace, you may wanna pay the differenceand get that plant shipped a little bit faster.

Then you also wanna look at the sizes of containerthat are available.

Again, it costs alot of money to ship a big ball of soil halfwayacross the country.

Many suppliers of mailorder plants will put a maximum or a minimum onthe number of containers of a certain sizethat they will ship because those are the onesthey can pack in the boxes.

A gallon container of course,will be a lot heavier.

You'll get fewer in the box,but you'll get a bigger plant.

A smaller one, a four inchor even a little cell pack, obviously, you can buymore of them to fit in a different size box, yourplant is also smaller.

What you want to make surethat you do also is look at the information that thatsupplier has given you about the actual shipping dates.

And many times they willhave limits, they'll say they will not shipafter a certain date because it's too hot.

They will not shipbefore a certain date because it's toocold, and if they ship before a certain date,what are you going to do in your own home with plantsthat are either bareroot and sitting in a plasticbag, or plants that really don't wanna stayinside a greenhouse because they're alreadygreen and growing and they're in a container? People will put plantsthat come in in bareroot in their refrigeratorto keep them from breaking dormancyand keep them cool until it's time to plant.

Strawberries are anexample, they come bareroot, they come in a bundle, typicallytied with a rubber band or a twistie, and thenthey forget about them.

And they open thatrefrigerator and here comes strawberries that are mush,the plants themselves, instead of an actual plant.

So again, to summarize,enjoy that shopping.

You can also, with certaincompanies go online and go to an e-commercesite, and perhaps pick out one of something that anursery may not carry.

That might be able tobe shipped directly from that major supplierto a local nursery with your name on it, giveyou the opportunity to get it without that nursery, thatlocal nursery having to buy five, 10, 15 or 20 ofsomething when in fact, they may only beable to sell one.

So have a great timedoing this but again, read that fine print, thisis one of those situations where you wanna know exactlywhat's getting shipped to you when and how.

There's so many cool selections and fun plants totry in these catalogs whether they're paper or online.

Just make sure you're readingall of that fine print so you don't end up wastingyour money or getting plants when you can't handle them.

You know, we've hada lot of fun with our Go! Gardening features thisyear where we've tried to give new gardeners helpwith basic information to get them started.

This week we're going to giveyou tips on taking cuttings and using them tostart new plants.

It's a prettystraightforward process.

Here to tell us more is UNL agronomy horticulturegrad student Josh Reznihek.

– Today we're gonna talkabout herbaceous cuttings, and another stepthat you can take toward getting your garden ready a little bit sooner.

So today we're gonna beusing a coleus variety that we have in front.

We'll start with the containersthat we'll use today.

I have two in front ofme, different types.

We have just yourtypical 606 cell packs.

The other one will be theseed germination tray.

You can either use either or.

If you're nice and neatand organized these plants will come out as plugs thenonce you go into the garden or you can just take'em directly out of the seed germination tray, thatdoesn't have any dividers and go straight to thegarden as well, so, I'll use the 606 tray forthe demonstration today.

In here I have apremade media mix.

It's a combination ofPerlite as well as a seed germination mix.

That's really it for the media, just looking forsomething well drained.

As far as the plant material,we're gonna be using herbaceous plant material today.

There's four differenttypes of cuttings.

You have your herbaceouswhich a lot of your succulent plantgrowth, your softwood, which is new spring growth, and then semi-hardwood andhardwood cuttings that are a lot of tree speciesand stuff like that.

So today we're justgonna be dealing with the herbaceous plant material.

When taking thesecuttings, it's ideal to use a sanitized razorblade for this.

You can use prunersor scissors of sorts, but I try to stay away fromthat 'cause that creates a crushing actionand damages the plant more than a nice, cleanrazor blade cut would do.

So when taking these cuttings,you're gonna be looking for the nodes of the plant.

Everywhere a leaf actual comesout of the plant is a node.

So you're ideallylooking for a minimum of two nodes per cutting.

What's gonna happen isthat's gonna promote your adventitious rootingbelow the soil line, and your adventitious shootgrowth above the soil line.

So a minimum of two nodes.

Ideally two nodesbelow and one above.

The last node that youhave, the rest of the stem, you don't want a huge longpiece sticking off of this.

It's just gonnadesiccate and die back and potentiallycause more problems.

So you wanna get fairlyclose to that last node and cut that off.

To aid in the rooting,adventitious rooting of these plant materials,there's multiple different rooting hormones that youcan use, different products.

Every store's gonna have alittle bit different one.

There's liquid formulationsI'll be using today as well as powderedformulations.

The powdered ones, I justsuggest that you pre-drill the holes before youstick the cuttings.

'Cause if you just use thecutting to stick the hole in it's gonna rub offon the way down.

So, and again, it'sjust a quick dip.

You don't have to let itsoak or anything like that.

And then you're goingto stick that cutting.

And again, pre-drilling,I usually just use the end of a marker, and thenstick that cutting in there, and kind of looselycompact around there.

You'll notice that there'sa lot of leaf material around this cutting.

Now that we've cut allof the root material off of this cutting, it'snot gonna have any way to bring up water or nutrientsfrom the soil.

So we're gonna have toreduce this leaf tissue area with the razor blade, someof this leaf material, and you can remove wholeleaves, half leaves.

It doesn't really matter.

Just a reduction ofthat leaf surface area to reduce the metabolismrate of that cutting.

Once this occurs, you gothrough the whole flat, in this one it'd be 36 cuttings.

It does take a coupleweeks for this to keel off, callous, and then forroot initials to form.

So, you're looking ata minimum of two weeks before you probablystart seeing any form of root initials.

For post-care, you're lookingfor a humid environment.

You can do this byputting those clear domes over the top, but thenafter they've keeled off, you wanna reduce thelight intensity as well since you wanna reducethat metabolism rate.

And as it goes on, youcan increase that light, kinda harden themoff so that way when you put 'emout in the garden, they don't have any issues.

– There are few things betterto gardeners than free plants.

By following these simple tipsyou'll be well on your way to all kinds offun projects to try for this upcominggrowing season.

If you have morequestions about cuttings or plant propagation,check out your favorite online gardeningwebsites or contact your local extension office.

During the winter months,some of your woody ornamentals are dormant and are in needof some simple pruning.

Pruning anything is a littleintimidating to some gardeners, so we're here tooffer some tips.

For this week's LandscapeLesson we'll help you see the difference betweenwhich are floral buds and which are not.

(mid tempo music) Late winter and earlyspring are good times to do a lot of pruning oncertain landscape plants, and this is alsothe time of year when we get questions abouthow to tell the difference between the floralbuds and the vegetative or the foliage buds.

On some shrubs it certainlydoesn't make any difference because we're not growingthem for the flowering.

On others, however, if you don'tknow what you're looking at and you do wanna do the pruningduring the dormant season, you may, in fact be ruiningthe flowering for that season.

So let's take a lookat a couple of them and talk about how youcan see the differences.

Sometimes it's easy,sometimes it's not.

One thing to alwayskeep in mind also is remember whenthose shrubs flower.

If they flower early inthe spring like forsythias or lilacs, they're likely tohave set their flower buds right after floweringthe previous year.

We call that old woodor one year old wood.

And that means that if you'regoing to do any pruning without ruining those flowerbuds, you need to do it after they flower in the summer.

So that's a little bitof a different ball game.

Here's an example, thisis actually one of the flowering cherries, oneof the bush cherries.

And you can see thesebuds right here, those are the floral buds,those are the vegetative buds.

This is one that blooms very,very early in the spring.

Lilacs are a classic,this happens to be the littleleaf lilac, andit's a little bit harder, of course, to seethe flower buds when the buds themselvesare so little.

But if you look reallyclosely, you can see two vegetative budssurrounding a bud that will be a flower bud.

This is another one again,that you don't prune if you don't wantto lose the flowers.

You wait until after it blooms.

Viburnums have often timeswhat we call naked flower buds.

And it's really simple to seewhat those buds look like.

This is a great example ofa flower bud, a floral bud that was set last season,here are the vegetative or the foliage budson either side of it.

So the simple thing here is,if you really need to prune it, and here's another example,you can go ahead and prune this here or prune it right here,you're not going to ruin the floral displayfor this here.

So again, knowing whatyou're looking at, taking some timeto pay attention to where the shrub flowers, alsomakes a really big difference.

If you know that,you can begin to look a little more closely atwhich buds are going to produce flowers and which onesare going to produce foliage.

Good gardeners understand thevalue of what, when, and where to make those pruning cuts.

It can be confusing at times,but if you know your plants, you'll get the hangof it in no time.

You know, Nebraska has anumber of areas in the state where specificornamentals thrive.

The different climate andenvironmental conditions means some home landscapesare going to look very different as yougo from north to south and east to west.

Last week we talked aboutsome western ornamentals with Amy Seiler from theNebraska Forest Service and now Amy returnsto tell us more.

(mid tempo music) We learned so much from AmySeiler on our last segment about western Nebraskaplants that we decided to have her back,give her another shot at talking about all thebeautiful things she loved.

So Amy, tell us whatyou brought today, and tell us why you cangrow it and we can't and maybe what some ofthe alternatives are west versus east.

– OK, sounds great.

Well I brought some reallyunique plants today.

And the main thing abouta lot of these plants is that they would prefervery limited water.

So they're idealplants for central and western Nebraska.

The other thing that'sunique about these plants is that they would preferto be in a higher pH soil.

– Wow.

– So that is, we're always looking forplants that will grow in a higher pH soil, andwhat we have in front of us are some really good ones.

The first thing that Iwould like to show you, this is apache plume, and this is asemi-evergreen shrub.

And it blooms a whiteflower, but then it has this unbelievable pink flower, it just looks like this silky, wispy, notflower, seed head, excuse me.

And it looks incredible all summer long.

And so you have all thisgreat texture and interest, and it looks incrediblein a dry landscape where sometimes you can lack a little bit of flower interest.

Great plant, three tofive feet tall maybe.

It'll be shorter ifit gets less water.

So that's a good onefor people to try.

– We have tried that in theeast with a little success if it's dry enough, andprobably our high-humidity and our lower pH is gonnalimit its life a little bit.

– It would not enjoythat very much.

It really wants to be neglected.

And I will just forewarn people,when they first plant it, the bloom is not thatimpressive, it's the seed head, is why you plant this plant.

The seed head willtake your breath away.

– Perfect, all right, whatelse did you bring for us? – OK, I broughtanother fun plant.

And what I have infront of me right now, this is called wavy leaf oak.

It is an actual oak, and it is native tosouthwest Colorado, New Mexico, and it isan incredible plant.

It's a small treeor a large shrub.

You can prune it up tohave a multi-stemmed trunk.

And it is incrediblydrought tolerant.

Holds its foliage, it's kindof a silvery foliage color, but Kim, as you touch it, it's spiny.

– (Laughing) I thoughtit was a holly.

And I thought holy cow,she has brought a holly with no green leftin the leaves.

I've never, everseen that plant.

– I've used that in severallandscapes, and it gives great winter interest, andsomething to talk about in the summer for sure.

– Perfect, all right.

You also have another oak Ithink, if I'm not mistaken.

On that one (laughing)- You are correct.

This is just a scruboak or Gambel oak and this is a plant that we reallylike to use in the west.

It's much smaller thanyour oaks back east but I like this plant becauseit will hold its foliage in the winter, dependingon the genetics of it.

And, it gives me a littlebit more winter interest.

It also helps blockthe wind a little bit in the landscapes, capturesa little bit of snow.

And I love this leaf look in the wintertime when I don't havemuch to look at.

Plus it's greathabitat for animals.

– You know, and we actuallycan grow Gambel here.

It's a different form, but atleast it looks like Gambel.

And then you brought trulya broadleaf evergreen that we decided isnot your native, but it's amazing tosee it growing here.

– Yes, I actually clippedthis from my neighbor's house and I had originally thoughtthat it was Oregon grape holly, and we can grow the smallerform of Oregon grape holly, it's native out there.

But I found this.

This can grow out west.

It needs to be in aprotected location that's exactly where I found it.

But I watched myneighbor's plant for years, and it has neverdesiccated, it looks good all of the time, so,in just the right spot you can have some ofthese broadleaf evergreens and they'll do OK.

– Which is perfect.

So the combination is greatand as we always love to say to our guests, thankyou so much for coming, driving all theway in, and sharing what we would love tohave, but we live here.

– Absolutely mypleasure, thank you.

– Thanks Amy.

You know we love thatburst of color we get in the springtime from ourplants, but it's nice to know these plants can alsodeliver color and texture during the dull winter months.

Thanks so much to Amyfor sticking around and talking to us again.

Alrighty, let's takea few minutes now to answer our viewer emails.

We'd love to hear from you.

Perhaps you can share apicture or two with us, send us an email to byf@unl.


Our first questioncomes from Omaha.

And we've actually talked aboutthis a bit in past seasons and maybe even thisyear, and that is that some bulbs are coming up.

In this case it's alittle better than that or maybe worse thanthat in their minds because what they haveis they have snowdrops already in flower.

The email was actuallydated January 23rd, so, looking back in the record book, at least for our snowdrops oncampus, that is pretty early.

We have them blooming Februaryfourth, not January 23rd.

And of course, theirquestion is what happens now? Well obviously it'stoo late to do anything other than enjoy it.

If there is snowin the forecast, snow could help insulate.

You may see,certainly a little bit less vigorous plant next yearfrom that bulb depending on how the snow coverlasts and depending on how much freezingoccurs of the foliage.

But for heaven's sakes,don't cut that foliage back once that snow coverdiminishes in the spring.

So just enjoy it, that'sreally all you can do when nature throwssort of a whammy at us in terms of the season.

We have a viewer down inthe Auburn area that has some serious tree damage.

And she's wonderingwhether this in fact, could be a porcupine, isthis deer, is this squirrels? What exactly is going on here? We've sent this off to ourcritter creature Dennis Ferraro for an answer, and wewill actually post this both on our websiteand to Facebook.

But the chances of this being a rabbit are slim and none, a squirrel, slimmer andnoner, because, of course, the squirrels are not goingto do that amount of damage on the trunk ofa tree that high.

Could be porcupines althoughwe're not really seeing too many of them in thesoutheast part of the state or in that corner, couldvery well be deer damage.

The unfortunate thing of course,is that amount of stripping and bark damageprobably means an end to a successful life forthat particular tree.

We have a viewer outin the Lexington area that had ornamentalgrasses in their landscape, and waited until about now tocut them back, and in so doing discovered what lookslike a lot of damage around the crown of the plant.

And they're seeing placeswhere something has sort of burrowed throughor has run through or has used thosegrasses as shelter.

Their question is now howto get rid of the critter because first off, they'dhave to know what it is and then what to do aboutit, but more importantly can they, in the spring,dig those grasses up, divide them, and then reset them and hope to have some success.

The answer is a kind ofa guarded yes on that.

And what they willwant to do is first off take as big a clump ofthe root mass as possible and then tease apart thosegrasses in the locations where it appears as thoughthe damage has been done.

Take a good look and makesure that if it was a creature they have not nipped off orchewed off all of those roots from below the crown of thatplant, and if they have not, go ahead and reset thoseplants making sure that you don't set them at a depthany lower than they were previously or any higher.

Backfill with good soilfrom the surrounding area, don't use any ofthat amended stuff, give them a good drink andhope that maybe next year you won't have that sameissue with the damage to it.

But I would probablywait at this point even though we don't havemuch frost in the ground in a lot of areas, I'dwait until we're a bit later in the season todo that just in case our weather is reallystrange going into spring.

We've got one morefeature this season of Lifestyle Gardening.

Earlier in the programwe helped you with tips on pruning some ofyour woody ornamentals, and right now we'dlike to turn our focus to pruning your fruit trees.

The right cuts at theright time of year will help your fruittrees be more productive during the harvesttime of the year.

(mid tempo music) You know, even thoughwe're in mid February and we tell you to prune yourtrees when they're dormant, for fruit trees,it is too early.

We wanna really hit thatwindow for pruning fruit trees right before they breakdormancy because that helps avoid damage, potentiallyto either the tree itself or to the fruiting spurs.

The interesting thingabout our little orchard here in the Backyard Farmergarden is these trees are not very old, they'veonly been in the ground about two years, theyhave grown exponentially with one exceptionand that would be our poor sad little peach tree.

But we also have not done agreat job of pruning them.

And I say that on purposebecause one of the things we wanna be able to dois tell you how to not do what we have either done wrong, or we should bedoing differently.

So these are all apple trees, and then we have our Nectaplum.

The Nectaplum is ahybrid, and it's a cross, so it is very, very vigorous, and is showing a lot of growth.

Last year our season producedreally exponential growth in some of our fruit trees.

Long whippy sorts of growth and these are the kindsof things that we're going to want to control if we arereally after a good fruit crop.

Apple trees do whatwe call doubling.

And you can see thatthey throw two shoots or two branches from avery narrow connection.

They also tend to branch with maybe not verygood connections.

What we're going to lookat this year and accomplish as we get closer tothe break of dormancy, is opening the structure up.

We'll make good pruning cuts.

We will essentially be ableto throw a bushel basket through the interiorof these trees without hitting a branch.

We'll do some reductionon the height.

We'll take care of anythingthat is pointing back into the center of the tree.

And then we will hopethat that will help produce a goodfruiting crop for us.

We do a different kindof pruning on peaches.

And we do a different kindof pruning on our Nectaplum.

You'll be able tosee on the Nectaplum some of the gummosis,as it's called, which was a result of doingsome pruning cuts last year.

That is not necessarilya terrible thing for plants in the peach, theplum, the apricot family but you do have toalso look and make sure that you don't have someborer damage going on.

You can see in all ofthese apple trees however, and in the Nectaplum,a lot of the doubling.

And too much stuff up in thetop, and that is going to mean we don't have goodair circulation, we don't have enough light,we have a lot of foliage and not much fruit.

The Nectaplum actuallyproduced a double leader in it, and they're actuallycompeting leaders.

Realistically this is asmall, short lived tree.

We are not going to correctthat double leader at this time, but we're gonna makesure that we keep that as healthy as we possiblycan and hold on to that tree.

The pruning dose on fruittrees to be able to get them to actually fruit makesthem really not look like fruit trees, like ornamentaltrees in the landscape.

They look pretty weird.

So since we use this forteaching for our students and our master gardeners,you may not see perfect pruning here,but we also will send you to some great linksso you can get started on pruning your own fruittrees in your own orchard and do it correctly atthe right time of year to be able to produce the amountof fruit that you're after.

Getting the right pruningdone at the right time will make a world of difference in your tree's healthand productivity.

Cleaning up damagedor broken limbs is always the first placeto start when pruning.

After you've donethat, a bit of thinning will help treeswith air circulation and cut down on overproduction.

That's all the time we have for LifestyleGardening this year.

We've had a wonderfultime bringing you tips and interviewsagain this season, and you can still follow us onFacebook, YouTube and Twitter as well as all get ready forthe upcoming growing season.

Don't forget, Backyard Farmeris right around the corner as we start another year ofgardening advice in April.

So good afternoon, goodgardening, thanks for watching, and we'll see you all nextwinter on Lifestyle Gardening.

(mid tempo music).

Source: Youtube