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Easily propagated plants for forest garden nursery?

 
Charlie Michaels
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I'm designing a school garden, and part of the idea for this garden is that it will serve as a nursery for many more gardens that will spring up in the areas. So if I can grow plants that can yield many children through seed or propagation, I would save the school alot of money for future projects!

If anyone knows a list of easily propagated herbs, perennial vegetables or trees or you just know a few easily propagated plants from the top of your head. I'm sure you guys all know I like useful and edible plants too.

For example I know mint is easily propagated, so is comfrey. And some plants produce lots of viable seed (the golden Alexanders I planted did that this year).  Welsh onions seems to be easy to propagate too because the sets grow right on top for easy distribution. 

Thanks for you comments.
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
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Tough question as there are so many answers.  Most seeds make more seeds.  Not everyone likes the same things.  I would maybe go with sweet potatoes, they are way cool.
 
                    
Posts: 47
Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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now that answer is really dependent on where you live and the natural enviornments that can thrive your freezes and summer heats.

If you are working with children and don't already know our shrubs to fill in under a tree canopy, i would recommend starting yourself, and the kids from the ground up.

Go with the easy garden varieties,

Kale
Swiss Chard
mustards
Orach/Spinach
Napa Cabbage
Jerusalem Artichokes
Sunflowers
Tomatillos

These are all very simple drought ready plants that do well in any family's backyard garden, they are easy to learn and great starting plants for all ages.

If you want to go the next step and start building taller food canopies, I would first look into the sort of fruit trees that go well for your area, then throw some drawf trees in to fill the gaps and southern edge of the 'forest'.
Edible Varieties of Mountain Ash are great trees for animal habitat (forest) and plateble

Then instead of looking for seed propogating shrubs, what is easier to learn are berry bushes that multiply by runners that can be dug and clipped for easy neighbor relations.
These tend to be the multiple fruit setting berries too, which gives more reliance that your one fruitset doesn't get moldywet, or frosted off.

***SEABERRIES*** <--legume best choice
autumn olive <--also drought tolerant


Raspberries  <-plant late raspberries on northeast/west side of trees to get lowering fall sun
strawberries
thimbleberries
huckleberries  <-blues are good in shade
wolfberries
serviceberries
goose
currants


and always understand what sort of soil you have, you need acid (decomposed needles) for most shrubs and perennials

one thing i find that will help you keep moisture in your soil and give a good home for fungi, is put some desidueous tree logs under the soil

anyways i gotta run nd pick someone up by car
gl
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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There's might be a bit of a disconnect between easy to  propogate perennials and what kids want to eat.
If it's 'yummy' and 'easy', not just 'perennial', I'd definitely go for cherry tomatoes, snap peas, carrots and beans.
And strawberries. Wildly popular and really easy to propogate (kids love pinning down the runners and helping create new plants)
Whatever you do, please don't plant mint or comfrey in your main beds. Great round trees/shrubs though.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Cuttings can be taken in the fall as the leaves yellow from elder berry,honey berry,and highbush cranberry.I put them in moist soil with no protection here(Pacific NW) and get a high take rate.Seeds are easy for Cornus mas,autumn olive,gumi,apples,flowering quince.I plant these in the fall/winter.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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The possibilities are endless but here is a copy of my cuttings list for this fall's to do..
Weigela, elderberry, maple, barberry, grapes and other vines, catalpa, cedar, quince, chamaecyparis, dogwood, smoke bush, hawthorn, burning bush, olive (russian, autumn and goumi), snowberry, hibiscus, hydrangea, spirea, pine, juniper, hemlock, arborvitae, yew, willow, brambles, roses, blueberry, lilac, mock orange, currant, spice bush, privet, malva, thyme, also you can try a fruit tree if you have one you like.
 
Charlie Michaels
Posts: 124
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This is for my high school so the students aren't really "little kids". We're in Hackensack, NJ, like high zone 6 to low zone 7. The kids can adjust to weird foods I'm sure (no one is advocating nasty, bitter plants).

Strawberries and veggie gardens are great and I'll include them too but Permaculture (perennials) is the main focus.

Brenda Groth wrote:
The possibilities are endless but here is a copy of my cuttings list for this fall's to do..
Weigela, elderberry, maple, barberry, grapes and other vines, catalpa, cedar, quince, chamaecyparis, dogwood, smoke bush, hawthorn, burning bush, olive (russian, autumn and goumi), snowberry, hibiscus, hydrangea, spirea, pine, juniper, hemlock, arborvitae, yew, willow, brambles, roses, blueberry, lilac, mock orange, currant, spice bush, privet, malva, thyme, also you can try a fruit tree if you have one you like.


Brenda, so is cutting propagation as easy as snipping a branch of a specified thickness, and sticking it in the ground? And would it all be done the same way, like take a blueberry twig, a goumi twig and a maple twig and put it in the ground? It can't be that easy. But if it is something like that, wouldn't it to be possible to create numbers of like 100 new individuals from an older specimen of autumn olive, rose or dogwood (there's alot of "twigs" on older plants)?
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
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Sweet potatoes are perennial in zone 8 where I used to live, doubtful here in zone 6.  With protection maybe for you.  I hear the leaves are as good as the tubers.  Research them, yum
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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sometimes it is just that easy, esp with SOME of the plants on that list..most of them are on my FALL/WINTER cutting list ..and yes i'm going to just stick them in the ground, however, some will be losses i'm sure.

i've done this a lot around here..

usually i use my prunings..but in the past i would beg borrow or steal cuttings (mostly  from cemetary plants)..either when others are pruning or when they need pruning.

you don't just take any old twig..you should have a healthy non flowering cutting, in the spring and summer you can use green wood but in the fall and winter you generally use hard wood..

you want to cut the bottom of the cutting JUST BELOW a node, a place where a leaf was..remove ethe bottom leaves if they still have leaves (with green they will)..or all the leaves in the winter time of course..and if they have a couple of nodes near the bottom that is even better, as the roots will come from the nodes..you stick them into moist soil or vermiculite or potting mixtures, and water them well, sometimes it is good to cover them with plastic or sometimes you can start them in a plastic bag ..but best to keep them moist and out of the sun..you can bury some kinds and they'll root in the ground, but i don't do that..you can put them in a nursery bed or right where you are going to let them grow..

you can dip them in a rooting hormone, and yhou can make your own rooting hormone from soaking willow twigs in water..

there are a lot of good books out about propagation, and nearly anything will grow from  from a stem cutting, but some things are more difficult than others, others grow from divisions or root cuttings or layering (basically burying part of the stem in medium or putting medium around a wound in the stem and wrapping it in plastic till roots are grown..lots of ways..too much to try to explain it all here, but do some googling
 
Josiah Maughan
Posts: 42
Location: wellsville, utah
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propagation is something i'm more than interested in. it seems like a very big money saver.

i've read a ton on it, and have tried my share too, the only things i can get to work are willow tree's, or aus trees.

i just don't seem to "get it"    it can be very frustrating.

you mentioned, brenda, "amost any fruit tree's"    i've read apple tree's won't have a large success rate, unless you want to graft them.

i have had success with any tree (i know, contrary to what i just said, what i was reffering to earlier was from clippings only)  by wrapping a plastic sack around the branch, and filling it with dirt (or sand, pete moss, or a mixture of any of those) and watering it regularly. the problem with thtat is i never know how long it takes. anyway, when the branch sprouts roots into the plastic bag, that's when you cut it off altogether, an re-plant it. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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Blot101  ...i believe I said you can try a fruit tree if you have one you really like...but I don't believe I said almost any..or that it was easy.

cuttings are not necessarily easy, but they are free esp if you are already pruning..

the timing is the important part, getting the right cuttings into the right mediums at the right time of year and under the right conditions.

but if you are pruning..why not stick some of the cuttings in soil and give it a try..i have successfully rooted a LOT of different plants by cuttinigs that were stuck in the ground with no other protection over the winter, and they grew beautifully, but i have had a lot of them just die too.

but prunings are just going to go in the compost pile or fire, so if you like the plant and would want more, stick em in the ground and give it a try.

according to the books i have read all fruit trees can be started from cuttings, some easier than others, some take 2 years or more to root from cuttings..so that is a long time.

yeah willows and austrees are some of the easies, that is because they make their own rooting hormone..but even willows if put in the ground the wrong time of year will just wilt and die.

read up on the plant that you wish to propagate and find out what type of propagation is best and what time of year is best..some do best in spring, some do best in fall..some in summer some in winter..

right now i have a list of fall/winter things that i will be taking some cuttings from, i'll stick them where i want them to grow, and if they die they die, if they grow, i'll have a free lant growing..no loss really..it was just waste to begin with.

i have spent good money on my plants, so if i can multiply them for free, why not try, and most plants can use a little pruning anyway..

also if over winter a branch breaks, from the snow, or from a wind storm..cut it off..sharpen it below a node and shove it in the ground..i've even grown roses from the givfts i have been given, but cutting the stem below the flower and sticking it in the soil..howver i'm not that fond of hybrid fussy roses anyway..

i've grown roses, grapes, barberry, willow, smoke bush, lilac, forsythia, and many others very easily from cuttings...doing no more than sticking a piece in the soil
 
john smith
Posts: 70
Location: western u.s.
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pineapple guava
grows easily from cuttings... bush / hedge / tree

blueberries
well suited for growing from pots

olive trees.... manzanillo / mission
grow well from cuttings ... beautiful ttrees

fig trees / espaliers ..... brown turkey / mission / honey
grow well from cuttings... also in pots... can be grown in many climates
 
Haru Yasumi
Posts: 102
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Echinacea is one that is very easy from divisions as well as seed.  Some stuff I've literally cut and stuck into the ground have been mints, lemon balm, mock orange, elderberry, currants, dogwoods, willows, cottonwoods, and maples.  Some stuff is easy to propagate but you'll never get rid of them like horseradish.  It may be to your benefit to find some easy-to-grow grafting stock for fruit trees and have some kids propagate that for you too.  Other kids could eventually try their hand at making grafts and then you'll have some valuable plants.  Grapes are very easy to root - last year I tossed a bunch of clippings in a pile and a bunch of them rooted on their own.  Goji berries are very easy from seed or cuttings and they grow very quickly.

The list is actually quite long. 
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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While I have experimented with many woody shrubs and trees ,the list I gave are the easiest edibles I have found with no covers ect.A pencil size branch with a couple+ nodes in the ground,taken as the leaves are dropping.
 
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