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Late fall and winter are coming soon, and they are the best times to take hardwood cuttings. You can take them from your favorite dormant trees, and shrubs, and propagate as many of them as you like.

The great thing about this trick is that they can be cuttings taken from your own plants or trees, a neighbor's, or, assuming you have permission, cuttings from a public garden or area.

Here's what you do:

Step 1: In fall and winter:

Wait until your choice of plant has gone completely dormant and dropped all of its leaves.

Take the cuttings from new wood near the tips of the branches. Your cuttings should be between 5 to 12 inches (12 - 30 cm) long and have at least 3 or 4 nodes on them.

Then bury them either singly, or in bundles in a large container filled with moist sand or vermiculite.

Place the container in a cool 35° to 45°F (1.7 - 7.2°C ), dark location for the rest of the winter.

Make sure the sand or vermiculite stays moist, but not soggy, because you don't want the cuttings to dry out, but you don't want them to rot either.

Step 2: In the spring:

When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, remove the cuttings from their container.

When you do, you'll notice that the cuttings have developed a protective callus over the wound where they were cut.

Dust the callus with rooting hormone **, and plant them in a flat, pot, or container, filled with moist potting soil about 2 to 3 inches (5 - 8 cm) deep. Any good potting mix will be fine as long as it drains well.

Put them where they will get full sun, but make sure you keep them moist at all times. Don't let them dry out.

Step 3: In the spring or summer:

Once they have rooted, they will start to push some top growth. Now you can move them into a pot, your yard, or garden, or where ever you like. Enjoy your new plants and trees!

** You can make your own rooting hormone if you want.


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Is space a problem for you?

Then you might want to consider growing your vegetables, fruit, citrus, or annual color in tubs, 1/2 wine barrels, window boxes or hanging baskets.

All make great areas to grow columnar fruit, citrus, beans, tomatoes, herbs, or even onions or lettuce.

Get creative! What can you think of that would grow well in a small space?

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