Monday, January 3, 2011

Propagating Herbs- Divide and Conquer

Most perennial herbs are easy to propagate. Today i propagated 3 varieties of thyme, and sweet marjoram. These are sprawling herbs whose long flexible stems root where ever they touch the ground. All one has to do is to find where the stems have rooted, dig them up, detach the rooted stems from the mother plant, trim them up and plant in a pot to grow out.

Here is a flat of divisions of sweet marjoram. I gently separated them into individual plants making sure each division had a good root system and some good growing branches.
Next i trimmed each division by cutting back the foliage and removing any damaged or long roots so that i would have a nice neat little plant with a good balance of roots to foliage.

I potted the divisions in recycled pint plastic pots using my standard potting mix. My mix is 75% worm castings our worms produce for us and 25% local granite sand. The worm castings are full of microorganisms and nutrients. The granite sand provides more nutrients and allows the mix to drain well. The fungi in the worm castings love to feed on the granite sand releasing nutrients to the plants. I want my plants to have the full benefits of the soil food web from the very beginning of their lives. It makes them happy.
Finally i put them in the unheated greenhouse and water them in. By spring they will have rooted in and developed nice full tops ready to be sold at our local farmers market.

Tomorrow i will be propagating 2 varieties of oregano, garlic chives, chocolate mint, welsh onions and rosemary.

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