Finding Zen

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The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. 

– Alfred Austin

When I first become a single mom I realized that I had to become more creative if I wanted to live a healthy life, while still spending the majority of my time with my then unborn daughter.

I am very stubborn, and I knew deep inside of me that there must be some way to not have to work 50 hours/week for someone else, like I did at the moment. One of the changes I implemented in my life was to learn how to grow my own food. What I didn’t know was that I was going to love it so much. Gardening quickly become part of a more zen inspired lifestyle.

 

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I have always believed that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. My ultimate dream is to have a small homestead, and be as self sufficient as possible, producing the majority of my family’s food myself. I’m working my way towards that goal, by growing as much organic produce as I can, and by continuing my learning process about how to do it (by reading, doing my own garden, and helping out at farms in my area.)

Right now I’m learning more about propagating trees. I’m homeschooling my daughter, and one of our current projects is different ways of growing a new tree from cuttings. We’re currently trying three methods, similar, with slight differences.  The purpose with this project is to see which method, of these three, that produces the strongest roots, and healthiest plant, in the shortest amount of time. You can read more about the background to the project, and the different methods here.

We worked with the most experimental method yesterday. The only one that I had never tried before. I found a video about this method of fig propagation in a plastic bottle on Youtube. I just had to try! Follow the link and watch the video. It’s a couple minutes, and pretty awesome. Basically you take a big plastic bottle, cut it open, put it around a tree branch, close it with some kind of strong tape, pour some soil in, and keep it moist.

We started the bottle a month ago. I’ve been poring some water into it every morning. I haven’t done anything else, since I started it. Yesterday I cut off the branch that the bottle was attached to, and opened it.

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I could see some roots inside of it before cutting the branch, but it was difficult to see clearly what was going on in there until I opened the bottle. I clipped the tape with some scissors. This is what I saw.

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I have never seen this much roots after only a month, with any other method.

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I planted my new tree in a pot, that I had prepared with organic potting soil. I am expecting the tree to be in shock for quiet a while, since it’s basically a branch that I cut off. With all those roots, I feel that there is a big chance that it will handle that shock. What the video didn’t tell me was, wether I should of taken the leaves off, or just kept them. I was unsure of what to do. There is obviously more work for the tree to keep the leaves. I will leave them for now, but I might carefully rip them off later, if the shock for the tree is severe. What would you have done? Leave the leaves on? Or gently take the leaves off?

The surrounding mini fig trees was cuttings, planted directly in small pots, the same day as I started the bottle fig tree. If you visited the initial post about fig tree propagation, it’s the red pots in that post. I recently repotted them in bigger pots.

It’s 6am, and I better go outside, before my horse Ghost wakes all the neighbors. He always starts calling for me at exactly 6am. It’s time to enjoy my favorite time of the day.

This is part of a Garden Galore link-up party. Feel free to join in, and get inspired! Happy Gardening !

 

Love,

Ms Zen

13 thoughts on “Finding Zen

  1. I have never heard of the plastic bottle method. That is so very interesting and amazing the roots that devolved in only a month. Homeschooling your daughter and teaching her life-long skills like gardening is so wonderful to read! Thank you for sharing with Gardens Galore! Happy Gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never hear of anything like it either Pam. I’m planning on trying it on my pomegranate trees next. I’m curious to see if it works as well with them. And to see how the new fig tree is doing a month from now. I did decide to take the leaves of, so that the tree can focus its energy towards establishing the roots. We’re having temperatures around 100 now, so I believe it was a good choice. Thank you for your kind comment. I have been enjoying every post in the Garden Galore that I’ve read so far. I’m planning to enjoy the rest of them today. Have a wonderful day!

      Maria

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  2. That photo of your daughter in the garden brought such a big smile to my face. 🙂 I love seeing kids start out young learning about gardening.
    Air layering is so easy, isn’t it? To reduce transplant shock, keep the plant in the shade for a few days and you might remove 3 or 4 leaves to decrease water demand. The rule of thumb for pruning is never more than a third of the plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! I love seeing her in the garden, and I love that she wants to spend time there. She often asks me if we can go out and sit in the garden. I’m planning on putting up a green house next to that area, in the fall. We used to have a couple at another house we rented. She helped me put them together, and we created a beautiful place to hang out during the winter. I would love to recreate that.

      Air layering, is that what’s it called? I’m so new to it, but super excited! I didn’t read your comment until after I took all the leaves of. We’re having temperatures around 100, and I figured that the plant needed to focus it’s energy on establishing the roots. I did put it in the shade. Thank you for teaching me about the rule of thirds. I will keep that in mind. I’m excited to see how the new fig tree will do in a few weeks.

      We’re going to visit a botanic garden today. For some inspiration. Have a wonderful day my friend, and thank you so much for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thoroughly enjoying homeschooling. We just finished the kindergarten curriculum. I was a kindergarten teacher before having her, so that was right up my alley. I already started to research, and plan for next semester. It’s exciting, but like you said, challenging. I’m not one to back down from a challenge though. I have given my daughter the choice of going to a regular school, but she enjoys the freedom we have to choose our own projects, based on her interests.

      I would love to hear about how the bottle idea works for you. I just learned that it is called air-layering. I’m going to try it on my pomegranate trees next.

      Horses makes for great alarm clocks 🙂

      Have a wonderful day!

      Maria

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