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BuurtpoesBledder

Natural Rooting Compound From Willows (Salix spp.)

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Spring (in my part of the world, anyway!) is almost here... and that means that a lot of your dormant landscape plants are just about ready to start kicking off their growing season. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a neat little tip that I learned from an organic fruit tree grower that I met at a class on plant propagation a few years ago.

 

Willow plants - the shrub/tree that provide us with landscape plants, soil erosion control and summer shade - are naturally high in the plant growth hormone Auxin at the tips of their branches in early spring, especially when they first begin to bud up and leaf out. Old-school plantsmen would sometimes take a few cuttings from a willow - crush them up - put them in a bucket of water and then soak their fruit tree cuttings in this solution for a few days before planting them out in a cold frame to root - simply on the basis that a bare willow stem will almost always root so long as it's not dried out - they saw it work in theory - but didn't understand the science behind it.

 

Auxin is water-soluble - so you can actually make a 'rooting tea' from the bruised and crushed tips of any common species of Willow by cutting a few cups-worth of the growing tips from a healthy plant, bruising or crushing the plant material a bit, placing them in a quantity of water to cover and letting it steep for a day. You then strain off the water from the plant mass and place it in a sealed jar in a refrigerator until you're ready to use it. When that time comes, pour off enough to steep your cuttings up to the first internode that will be the source of your roots and let them stand in the solution for 24 hours - and then plant them into your soil/soilless mix of choice. Refrigerate the rest of the solution for your next round if you like - it should keep, sealed for the rest of your growing season if the water you started with is free of any nasty bacteria - willows also contain salicylic acid in their bark - which some of you may recognize as the precursor to that modern wonder-drug, Aspirin.

 

With the increase in organic growing fans, I thought that this was a perfect time to pass this tip on. Any comments or feedback is welcome, of course... and as always, your milage may vary - but best of luck in your grows.

 

Peace,

 

BB

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Nice knowledge ive noticed when coppicing them they can reshoot even when submerged under water.

Plus i don't think anyone would bother to spend time and collect shoots especially when you have all the goods at the local wahtever and internet. You doubt you would either.

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:wave: Thanks BB, I tried this back in 1995 and have used it on and off since. The tea works great 17.gif and as good as any commercial product. I also add a stronger tea mix to my bubble clonner (when the Willows are in season)

 

my 2 cents... best to make the tea from midsummer branches and crush with a hammer :fish:

 

The is another plant that grows wild that you can make a tea from for adding silica to strengthen the plants Horsetail

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equisetum#Medicinal_uses

 

 

Medicinal uses

 

The plant has a long history of medicinal uses, although modern sources include cautions with regard to its use.[14] In 2009 the European Food Safety Authority issued a report assessing health claims (invigoration, weight control, and skin, hair, and bone health) for Equisetum arvense L., concluding that none could be substantiated.[24]

These plants have a high content of thiaminase, which may induce edema and may cause lack of limb coordination, possibly even Falling, slow heart-rate or cardiac irregularity. It is mentioned in the fifth edition of the national pharmacopoeia of Argentina that response to treatment with thiamin is effective.[citation needed] Since horsetail contains traces of nicotine, it is not recommended for young children[25]

There is insufficient evidence of its effectiveness as a medicine, but taken orally Equisetum giganteum is widely used in South America as a diuretic to reduce swelling caused by excess fluid retention and for urinary infections, bladder and kidney disorders. It also contains silicon which is why it is sometimes suggested as appropriate for sufferers from brittle bone disorders [26]

Dosage is a matter of conjecture, but dried herb capsules of 300 mg are sometimes recommended to be taken 3 times per day.[25] More commonly it is prepared as an infusion whose content can only be guessed – one tablespoonful or half an ounce (c. 10g - 15g) of dried herbs mixed with 5 cup-fulls (c. 1 litre) of boiling water and when cool, drunk as tea or used as a compress[25]

The best time to collect horsetail grass, to produce medicinal tea, compress or store for later usuage, is during the midsummer. You can use the collected shoots of the horsetail grass fresh or dried.[27]

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@Robogro - the bubble cloner thread was what made me think of posting the info - I've been doing the same thing in mine now for a few years instead of just plain water - that's one reason why I've stopped using the commercial powders and gels - I just don't need them any longer. (Full disclosure: I have one packet of Clonex gel in the nutes cabinet for that 'break open in case of emergency' situation when nothing else seems to work - but I haven't had to go there yet). Thanks for posting the info on horsetail as well - that's good to know for future reference - before I converted over to all-organics, I used Humboldt Structual Integrity to strengthen up any weak or floppy plants - I'm not a chemist, but I inderstand it to be a water-soluble form of silica as well. It seems like good technique and the proper use of fans to stir the plants so that they develop strong stems as they grow has taken care of the flops in my garden for the most part - the diatomaceous earth I add while composting probably adds trace amounts of silicates as well.

 

@Malarky - I only talk about the stuff I know through experience - I use it in my cloning chamber as opposed to rooting powders or gels - I've become a very hands on, DIY gardener since I've changed over to organics. I've also got 5 different varieties of willow growing in my yard, so I don't have to go farther than my back door to get the materials to make my 'rooting 'tea'.

 

Peace all.

 

BB

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Oh really i'm sorry man, i need to keep my mouth shut

No worries, brother - it's all good - I took no offense.

 

Peace,

 

BB

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Awesome post and so spot on regarding willow and horsetail. I know BB can find some horsetail up by the great lakes.

 

These both work very well. I am also a fan of Aloe (preferably grow the plant but the 200x concentrate works wonders). I will use this as a rooting stimulant as well as with hand waterings. Look into it if you are not hip, great properties. Word of caution though, it will begin to ferment within 30 minutes so use it once you mix it up. For clones, its a good dip prior to going into soil or the aero cloner.

 

If you are not familiar with Comfrey - I highly recommend as well. Buy a blocking strain as the non blocking strains can be highly invasive when they seed. The blocking strains will be with you for life, but are not invasive. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulators, which means it readily pulls nutrients from the earth. Accordingly, you will get the best benefit from growing them in a nutrient rich, organic soil. This is great for making syrups or just drying the leaves and using like you would a kelp meal. If you think weed is a weed, grow this stuff!

 

Dandelions are the worlds dynamic accumulator! Ever wonder why they grow so big and fast in your yard? I always wonder what my neighbors think when I am out in the yard picking them with a 5 gallon bucket..... Tea Time!

 

BB - I feel silica is a must in organic grows. There are many ways to get this. You are correct that DE will provide silica in the soil. As will green sand over time, but this is only worth while if you recycle in an organic soil IMO due to the slowww release. Full disclosure, silica is one of the few "bottles" I use. I use Dynagrow Protekt. I try to use this most waterings at 1/4 tsp per gallon from cloning up through the end of stretch. In my opinion, this product is organic. It is super cheap and the results are obvious. Scroll through my thread to the close up of E$kos sour d x bb. I was lucky enough to find a very sour d pheno which means big stretch with big buds on top. The silica has allowed this plant to support these massive buds on long thin-ish stalks. Love this product, even though its in a bottle.

 

I am also exploring organic brown rice flour as silica additive....as well as an Mg additive. Its off the charts on both.

 

Dude

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If you are not familiar with Comfrey - I highly recommend as well. Buy a blocking strain as the non blocking strains can be highly invasive when they seed. The blocking strains will be with you for life, but are not invasive. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulators, which means it readily pulls nutrients from the earth. Accordingly, you will get the best benefit from growing them in a nutrient rich, organic soil. This is great for making syrups or just drying the leaves and using like you would a kelp meal. If you think weed is a weed, grow this stuff!

Coming from Eastern-European stock, an herbal garden wouldn't be complete without Comfrey. We call it żywokost in Polish - it's used to make liniments (steeped in vodka, of course!) for sore muscles, sprains and bruises. I cut it down before flowering and run it through the compost tumbler with the rest of my green ingredients before I introduce a batch of my previous growing medium for a good week or two of mellowing. Works a treat!

 

Dandelions are the worlds dynamic accumulator! Ever wonder why they grow so big and fast in your yard? I always wonder what my neighbors think when I am out in the yard picking them with a 5 gallon bucket..... Tea Time!

 

I'm sure my neighbors think the same think when I'm sowing clover and hairy vetch on my veggie beds in the fall - but they don't know what I know about nitrogen, either.

 

BB - I feel silica is a must in organic grows. There are many ways to get this. You are correct that DE will provide silica in the soil. As will green sand over time, but this is only worth while if you recycle in an organic soil

 

I'm also a fan of greensand. I do at the DE in the hot compost phase when I add in the mix from the previous grow - usually my crushed eggshells, rock phosphate and all of my saved up coffee grounds as well - that cooks for about two weeks in the tumbler at about 110F - then the cold compost phase starts with the stuff from the worm bin and the leftover grains from my brewkettle. It looks like hell at the start - but 3 weeks later, it's crumbly black gold.

 

IMO due to the slowww release. Full disclosure, silica is one of the few "bottles" I use. I use Dynagrow Protekt. I try to use this most waterings at 1/4 tsp per gallon from cloning up through the end of stretch. In my opinion, this product is organic. It is super cheap and the results are obvious. Scroll through my thread to the close up of E$kos sour d x bb. I was lucky enough to find a very sour d pheno which means big stretch with big buds on top. The silica has allowed this plant to support these massive buds on long thin-ish stalks. Love this product, even though its in a bottle. I am also exploring organic brown rice flour as silica additive....as well as an Mg additive. Its off the charts on both. Dude

 

I'm following your experiments with the rice fermentation experiment - I may have to give that at try on a small scale and see how it works for me. I've got lots of leftover organic material from fermentation as it is... and it also has some decent levels of residual sugars from the brewing - but I can't see how the additional lacto cultures could hurt

 

Peace,

 

BB

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maple trees also work well.

 

The maple trees around here you just about have to pull the thing out by the roots, other wise shoots start shooting out of the stump from everywhere. This is actually how they used to do sustainable tree farming back in the day. Cut one tree, and then 5 or 6 shoots come out nice and straight and even. Rinse repeat once old enough.

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