Air Layering - The New Awesomeness
The trees are maturing around the border of my kitchen garden. And they are shading out my grow beds.
I have a choice - cut them down or start transitioning the space to a more mature, perennial based food production system.
Since the most shaded beds run along the transition zone between urban savanna and urban forest, I decided that transition perennials like low shrubs would be a suitable place to start.
The fastest way to establish this food system is to take a trip to the local nursery with a credit card. In my case, someone else's credit card...
Alternatively, I could take my time and start with seedlings or cuttings that I can obtain for free or barter. And that's what I'm doing.
So I got to reading and researching not only for local plant material donors who are acclimatized to the Northern environment, but to also learn techniques for cloning and propagation. And I just discovered this technique called air layering which I think is just awesome. Expect to see plastic bags on tree branches everywhere!
So What is Air Layering?
Here is a basic video introducing the concept:
There are two main techniques involved. One is ringing the branch as shown in the video above, while the other involved cutting a notch like in the video below:
Some people just make longitudinal cuts along the branch and it seems to work. The point is that it's not a precise science. Whatever works best for you works best!
Instead of using rooting hormone, I'm experimenting with willow water I made at home to see how well it works.