If you want a garden full of gorgeous perennials,
hardy shrubs, rhododendrons, a bounty of vegetables and annual flowers, you have to
do one of two things. You can either pay at the
checkout counter every spring or you
can learn the simple techniques of starting your own free plants.
full of free plants, growing your own expensive trees and shrubs (yes,
including evergreens and rhododendrons) can easily be accomplished by
home gardeners with a bit of information and a very little bit of
inexpensive equipment (and I even show you how to get this from your
own kitchen instead of purchasing it).
As many of you know, I ran a specialist greenhouse and nursery for over
20 years and I've grown literally millions of plants in that
time. And almost every one of them was started
right on the farm. Give me one plant and I'd turn
it into hundreds for my nursery customers. With over 1800
varieties of perennials to grow and 6-800 varieties of annuals, I was
always looking for the easiest and fastest way to propagate my own
plants. And frankly, I found them; producing a
hundred thousand plants (or more) every spring for my kids to pot up
A Plant Propagation Schedule
thing in the book is the schedule of when to do each of these
propagation methods. It's all there in one handy chart so you
understand not only the how but also the when of plant propagation.
of the specialty propagation systems (root cuttings) have lists of
plants that you can use with these techniques. There's no more
guessing whether this works this way or that way.
I've boiled these techniques down to the simplest and most effective
ways for home gardeners to get free plants. And if you want
that garden full of plants, here's what you need to know and what's in the book.
Easy Seed Starting
Starting annual and vegetable seeds is straightforward and while you
may not have to hit the goals I had in the greenhouses (over 95% of all
seeds germinated successfully) you don't want to waste seeds
either. You want all you can get now that seeds are becoming
Perennial flower seeds are even more expensive and a little harder to
grow but I still hit my targets because of several simple methods and
equipment you already have in your house. Between
my refrigerator, a few baggies and some damp vermiculite I know the
precise number of days and temperatures I should be holding the seeds
to get all those plants in my garden.
I also accept gifts of plant cuttings from friends and neighbors when I
visit them. Gardeners are usually pretty helpful when it
comes to giving cuttings and because I always travel with a baggie and
cooler, I get to bring home some pretty remarkable plant
cuttings. Rooting them successfully follows and
then they go out to grace our garden and property. I
landscape my gardens at a much lower cost than most folks simply
because I'm not afraid to cut up a plant or collect my own seed and
Perennial Plant Division
is how I get most of my true-to-name perennials from the fancy hybrids
(this and taking cuttings) and I tell you the things to avoid and the
things to do to make this fast and easy.
And yes, I do roses from seed and cuttings with no need for fancy grafting and I fill my gardens with fragrance for pennies.
Fruit Trees, Evergreens, Rhododendrons
a big fan of having trees on my property (partially because of the
increased value this brings to the property). And I love the
taste of fresh apples picked from my organic fruit growing orchard.
The techniques for you to do that are easily learned and covered
You may be paying big bucks at a garden center for
your plants but I"m filling mine (and they're big) with plants I grow
myself using basic techinques that any gardener can learn. This
isn't rocket science but it does take a bit of attention to detail.
But if you want to keep on paying big prices for common plants,
then who am I to stop you.
You can have
all the free plants you want for your garden if you know how to
propagate your own plants
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