Here are 3 ways to help grow and support vertical growing in the garden. 1. Hammock Use a wide piece of hose or stocking to create a simple hammock to hold watermelon and cantaloupe on your trellis. 2. Inside mesh bags, hose or stockings. You can reuse the mesh bags that fruit came in from the store or hose to stockings to keep fruit up off the ground and on the trellis. 3. Cross method. Use 2 or more pieces of hose or stockings to create a hammock crossing over each other to hold larger fruit in place like watermelon. You can also use an old t-shirt as an alternative method for larger fruit like watermelon.
We had snow twice in 2021 and I wasn’t sure my garden would survive. I had newly tip layered blackberry plants in small pots now covered in snow. I also had new apple trees and a strawberry patch to protect. I used clear plastic containers to make some mini green houses to protect my celery and onion plants and this worked well. Check out the video above to see how it all worked out including the before and after.
Easy way to get more strawberry plants and free is by using runners. I have tried planting strawberry seeds and it takes much longer than you may want to wait. I’ve found the easiest way is to get some bare root strawberry plants and then when they send out runners – you can propagate them directly into small containers. Simple and fast!
How to germinate seeds quicker and easier. I’ve found that simply peeling the seed coating makes the seeds germinate faster. I’ve done this will several seeds including avocado, lemon, apple, and peaches. I use the paper towel method to start them and the ones that have been peeled start the process faster than those that have not. This saves me time when planting seeds as I’ll know which ones are ready several days sooner. See the video above.
You can easily propagate your blackberry plants by tip layering them. Also called tip rooting – I like to do this directly into small plastic cups making it easy to verify that the roots are growing and then share with others! I reuse a plastic container and drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Take a blackberry (or raspberry) cane and bring it down and bury the tip about 2-3 inches into the middle of the cup. Cover with a rock on top to keep it in place. Check back in about 3 weeks to see the roots along the bottom. To separate, go back up the cane leaving at least 3 or 4 nodes of leaves and cut. Now you can transplant this to another area of your garden or simply give the cup to family or friends that want to grow their own!
Serpentine Layering is one of the two ways I propagate my blackberry and raspberry plants. Trailing varieties work best as they are easier to layer in this manner. I take a cane that easily bends down to a pot and I lay it across and bury the center of the cane. As it grows, usually about another week or 2 then I bring it over to another pot and repeat the process. The most I’ve gotten is 7 new plants from a single serpentine layered cane!
How I grew a mango tree from the seed of a store bought mango.
First – enjoy the mango fruit then extract the seed from the endocarp. Now peel the coating and cover with a damp paper towel for a 3-6 weeks until you see it has germinated.
Lightly cover with soil with the roots facing down and the stem facing up. Cover the seedling with a large plastic bag and keep moisture inside as the tree begins to grow. Watch the video above for seed to 4 month progress.