The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “plant propagation”

How to Germinate Tomato Seeds Faster

How to Germinate Apple and Pear Seeds Quickly and Easily

Note that apples don’t grow true to seed, so if you planted a seed from a Mackintosh apple you won’t get a tree that produces Mackintosh apples.

Seed Saving and Heirloom Seeds

Jeremiah “Jere” Gettle, the founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds talks about his seed bank in Petaluma, California, seed saving, heirloom seeds and biodiversity.

Micropropagation At Home – Step by Step

These should give you a better picture of the process – although the collection is incomplete.

Micropropagation or “Cloning” Plants at Home

This is a completely new topic for me. I had no idea that it was possible to grow small plants from plant tissue samples and to do so at home.

Question: Why would anyone do this?

Answers via Wikipedia (I’ll list just 5 of the possible reasons):

– To “copy” a great plant (produces nice fruit, is a high yielding plant, is hardy, etc)

– To produce mature plants quickly.

– To produce multiples of plants in the absence of seeds or necessary pollinators to produce seeds.

– To produce plants from seeds that otherwise have very low chances of germinating and growing, i.e.: orchids and nepenthes.

– To preserve a rare and endangered plant species.

According to Wiki, micropropagation is a widely used in forestry. Should we really be producing cloned forests?

The process does seem to have several steps and takes care as you have to try to get your working environment and the tissue culture you are working with as sterile as possible.

I find micropropagation fascinating but it also brings up all kinds of questions for me. What do you think? Micropropagation – thumbs up or thumbs down?

Vegetable Garden Fact Sheets and Guides from Texas A&M University

This is a treasure trove of information about vegetables and vegetable growing. If you don’t live in Texas you’ll benefit from the general information, if you live in Texas or in the same region you’ll be able to take advantage of the region-specific information they give.

Vegetables covered in detail are artichokes, asparagus, beets, carrots, cilantro, “cole crops” (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), collards, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, melons, okra, onions, peppers, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips and mustard. There are also guides for fruit and herb growing.

Other topics include composting, disease management, fertilizing, harvesting and handling, insect control and so on. There is a variety selector that divides Texas up into regions and shows you good selections for each area along with days to harvest for each vegetable and variety.

I noticed that they list both conventional and organic insecticides in the insect control documents, though I thought they might have written about methods like companions planting as controls for insects. So, they don’t offer a wealth of info on organic gardening, but if you’re just getting familiar with the plants, this collection is a good starting point.

Oh, don’t want to forget, they offer a link to a journal article by George Washington Carver, the great American horticulturalist, entitled “How the Farmer Can Save His Sweet Potatoes and Ways of Preparing them for the Table.”

These are high quality PDFs that you can download and print, even use to create your own reference binder.

Free Tomato Plants from Side-shoots

Oh, the marvellous tomato plant! This video shows an easy way to make clones of your tomato plants from otherwise discarded foliage. You’d prune off those extra shoots as a matter of course because they take energy away from the plant that you want it to spend on producing tomatoes.

This would be a good way to skip the seed starting process entirely — if a friend or community garden is willing to let you have a shoot.

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