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Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade. - Rudyard Kipling

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

A new take

A new take

            Gardening is something that needs you to keep experimenting constantly. Experimenting doesn't only need to be in trying out new plants and seeds and such. It can be new gardening techniques, like vertical gardening, hydroponic, and aeroponic gardening techniques, vertical gardening, squarefoot gardening and a lot of new ways and techniques to practice gardening. Likewise, we have a number of plant propagation methods. Most of us might be aware of what plant propagation is, but, for anyone who doesn't, I'm quoting wikipedia:

Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, bulbs and other plant parts. Plant propagation can also refer to the artificial or natural dispersal of plants.
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            A while back, during a stroll to a nearby park, I came across one of the techniques of plant propagation, Air Layering. Using this technique one creates a separate plant from the mother plant using a method in which usually a wound is made the target plant stem, and this wound is layered using some moisture retaining medium like peat-moss or coco-peat and such. To increase success rates synthetic rooting hormones are applied to the stems to promote rooting. Seeing the method in the park, I decided to give it a try on my plants. Though I planned air layering, I introduced a twist - grafting. I used a stem from a different rose plant and tried grafting it on another. To increase chances and not let the stems die, I used layering technique too. Used compost to layer the wounded area and then wrapped it with polythene sheet, which would retain moisture, and not let the wounded area dry. I tied the thing on both top and bottom.

Metro Greens: Air Layering
Air layering on a plant in a public park.
Metro Greens: Air Layering
A closeup of air layering on a few stems of a plant in a public park. 
Metro Greens: Air Layering
My experiment with Air-layering and Grafting.
Metro Greens: Air Layering
My experiment with Air-layering and Grafting. In this shot, some drying nodes are visible.
Metro Greens: Air Layering
This shot taken a while after I did the process, and I hope you too can see that the nodes are looking fresher.
Metro Greens: Air Layering
And the proof that the cutting survived. You can see some grown up nodes. Now I'll need to check whether this is a result of grafting or the roots have come up in the cutting, because of the moist compost.
            Initially, the stem cutting started drying, but, gradually, it seems like it has survived, and new nodes are appearing. Let us hope for the best and wait for the cutting to develop completely to see the results. In the upcoming posts I will share some more blooms and stories from my garden Till then keep visiting and HAPPY GARDENING!

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