No rain this afternoon, so it was time to take cuttings and root up a few perennials I hadn’t gotten to in the past few weeks. Today I was rooting goumi (Eleagnus multiflora) and silverberry (Eleagnus commutata), both of which are excellent nitrogen-fixing semi-evergreen shrubs that also produce edible fruit. Goumis produce copious amounts of tasty red fruit the size of a blueberry or larger, and I have three becaue the children enjoy the fruit so much. Silverberries produce smaller fruit which are gold with silver speckles. I don’t find the diminutive fruit worth harvesting for us to eat, but the chickens and ducks love them, so I grow silverberries in the orchard where the birds can get the fruit, and the apple trees can get the benefit of the nitrogen the shrubs fix.
Some plants will root easily on their own from cuttings (Ribes, grapes, for example), but some need a little rooting hormone to encourage the formation of roots.
After stripping all of the leaves off, and pruning off any side branches, the cut ends are dipped onto the rooting hormone and then planted. Over the winter and early spring, they will form roots and you have a new plant!
Since I had a few extra minutes, I rooted some additional herbs, and a dozen blackcaps.
George, age four, insisted on making all of the labels for the raspberries. He asked me to tell him what to write, so I said, “Munger Blackcap Raspberry” and then he wrote out his tags. He may not be the easiest four yr-old, but having him for a garden helper is always a real delight.
More tomorrow with some of the foods the garden is still producing this last week of October.