Lower South

November, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Plant Propagation for the Home Gardener
Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings is a good introduction to plant propagation written for gardeners. It includes a listing of many landscape plants and the type of cuttings recommended for best results with each species.

Favorite or New Plant

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
Cardoon is very similar in appearance to globe artichokes. The plant reaches to 5 feet tall and wide and produces large, long, thistle-like gray-silver foliage. In summer bloom stalks appear, with purple, thistle-like blooms as large as a baseball. The young, tender leaves and undeveloped tender flower stalks can be cooked and eaten but I prefer it as an ornamental. It reseeds so remove the flower heads to avoid having to pull lots of small seedlings. In the lower south it is marginally winter hardy but can also be started from seeds in late winter and planted out in the garden in early spring.

Clever Gardening Technique

Homemade Rooting Mix
You can make your own rooting mix for cuttings by combining a 50:50 mix of perlite and vermiculite. This may seem like a poor mix to start a plant in, but remember that the rooting mix is just there to provide anchorage, aeration and moisture for the cuttings. Drainage is critical and this mix drains very well. Once the cuttings root they will be transferred to a growing mix where nutrients can be provided. An alternative mix is equal parts of sphagnum peat, perlite and vermiculite.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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