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using pure vermiculite for rooting

Posted by boizeau 7a (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 16, 09 at 16:51

I have to report that, after a season of trying to root figs in pure coarse vermiculite, I found that it still was too moisture retentive. In 2010, I plan to try it again but cut by 50% with coarse sand. I did get about 40% take and saw less rot than if I'd used potting mix, but it still was too damp overall.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I've had good luck with 1/2 sphagnum moss and 1/2 vermiculite and 1/2 sphagnum and 1/2 potting mix.

Lisa


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

You are correct in your thinking that by adding sand to vermiculite that it will lower the moisture holding capacity of your mix......just realize that sand is inert and better options may exist.

I've had very good success rooting hundreds of cuttings using 40% vermiculite and 60% perlite mixture. However, that mix is 100% INERT and find that I get MUCH BETTER results using a perlite/UPM mix which has some nutrients already in it. Try that airy mix one time and when you see the roots that develop and you see how your success rate significantly increases.....you will become a believer in using a nutrient containing mix too. And I'm talking about turning sticks into plant-able, surviving trees and not just seeing some roots appear on a stick.

Dan
Geaux Tigers.........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Vermiculite just does not work for me at all. I've tried twice now and had to pull my cuttings out and recut and plant them in pure perlite. I get better results with perlite and will never again use vermiculite. Vermiculite holds too much moisture. Dennis


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 16, 09 at 19:47

Rooting success hinges primarily on 3 things - a little moisture, lots of aeration, and a sterile medium. The right temperature can also play a significant part. Adding sand to vermiculite decreases water retention, but in most cases, it reduces aeration considerably, unless the sand is VERY coarse - like 10 mesh or larger. You'll go a long way before you find a better medium than a 50/50 mix of chopped sphagnum moss (not the same as sphagnum peat) and either perlite or screened Turface MVP.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Here is a picture of what fig cutting roots look like when rooted in a perlite/UPM mix.......see link below. Mine would look exactly like that if I kept them in my cups longer than I normally do. I generally take mine out when I see good side branching feeder roots coming off the main root stems.

Does anyone have a picture of what the roots look like when rooting in an inert sphagnum moss/perlite mix??

Dan
No such thing as too many fig trees.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Monster roots


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I used 2 methods in root initiations -- either the bag method or 100% water. I prefer the water method. After root initiations, I root the cuttings in 100% perlite or perlite/ top soil(60/40 mix). I prefer the 60/40 mix. I have just attempted my first rooting 3 weeks ago using water and I would be potting up Martin's unknown any time. Roots are at least an inch long. Never changed the water once like I normally would once a week. Just topping up.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 17, 09 at 16:46

;o) - I guess you'd have to take my word that a combination of Turface or perlite and chopped sphagnum moss is superior to anything I've ever used, which would make it superior to any combination of packaged container media and perlite, which is what perlite + Fertilome's UPM is, or just keep using what you're using. I have no dog in that fight.

I have rooted considerable numbers of woody plants in potting soil + perlite and found that the incidence of rot is greater, the speed of rooting slower, and the vitality with which roots grow not as great as when using the sphagnum moss/ perlite or Turface combination. UPM is just a commercially prepared potting soil with nothing in particular to raise it above any other.

As noted above, rooting success hinges primarily on 3 things - a little moisture, lots of aeration, and a sterile medium. UPM + perlite can be over-saturated so it holds insufficient air, and it is not sterile. The SP/Turface or perlite cannot be over-saturated (unless you work excessively hard at it), and actually has anti-fungal properties; so based on my own experience AND science, I don't have to even think twice about which would win in a contest. ;o)

If UPM and perlite together were so spectacular at coaxing roots from woody material, I'm sure horticulturalists across the land would be singing its praises and using it in air layers instead of sphagnum moss. To date, they either haven't found out about UPM or are not at all convinced that a potting soil would be a superior rooting medium.

Paully - Though roots form readily and often seemingly more quickly on many plants propagated in water, the roots produced are quite different from those produced in a solid, highly aerated medium (perlite - screened Turface e.g.). Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher percentage of aerenchyma (a tissue with a greater percentage of inter-cellular air spaces than normal parenchyma). If you wish to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably best not to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The "water-formed" roots often break during transplant & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption from solid media and often die. The effect is equivalent to beginning the cutting process over again with a cutting in which available energy has been reduced by root necrosis and regeneration.

If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in a highly aerated, solid medium, the cuttings in the solid medium will always (for an extremely high percentage of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water TO a solid medium for the reasons outlined above.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 17, 09 at 17:27

Al,

My next two fig-rooting batches will be done by your expert advice:
50/50(chopped) SM/Perlite (the white stuff)
and
50/50 SM/Oil-Dry (or whatever it is called - I have no Turface available).

And yes, I had previously learned that sand
(unlike a popular believe), CAN add to (bad) moisture retention.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

There are websites like repotme.com that do "Select a blend" where you can build your own blend of mixes. I was just checking that out and it looks pretty inexpensive.


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RE: sphagnum types

Wow, they also offer sphagnum in the mix, along with turface, perlite and others. They have dozens of ingredients and you can create any custom blend using up to 12 different scoops.

I wonder how well a Turface/SM/perlite mix would do?

What type of SM is the right one to use?

Sphagnum Moss New Zealand AAA
Sphagnum Moss Chilean 5 Star
Milled Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum Moss Premium Chopped


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 17, 09 at 18:05

Also depends on how deep/endowed are one's pockets.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Dang, I just looked at the price. Yuck. That's some seriously expensive mix.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 17, 09 at 18:31

Why would you want to buy it when you can so easily make your own for a fraction of the price? You can make very high quality, long lasting container media for less than you would have to pay for commercially prepared peat-based soils.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Absolutely. The intrigue I find at that place is you have a choice of 500 different amazing things you can put in the mix! But For the price being 500x as much, the value is not worth the novelty.

Now, if they sold a huge bag for $20 before shipping, I'd be more interested. But paying $80 for that huge bag....no thanks.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I think Al is right. We can make our own mix much cheaper. I think I'll try the New Zealand Sphagnum Moss with perlite combo. I've got a block of the moss in the garage and a couple of bags of perlite. I've got a few cutting too. I'll give it a try. Thanks, guys. Dennis


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Good advise Al. I do note the white tender roots breaks easier and have told myself to go easy in potting. Never realize the difference between the 2 methods. I suppose I must have lucked out with high success rate. Given my untrained prowness in plant biology, I have to say I have not notice any difference in plant's vigour. This may well be when I transplant them into perlite/top soil, the top soil is mixed with compost.

I chance into water rooting after forgetting I left a bunch of DK cuttings in a 2 ltr pop bottle(top cut) and all rooted well by the time I discovered it like about 2 months. Root mass was present, long roots but brownish. With water rooting, after transplanting them into 32 0z cups I kept the medium a little more moist for 2 weeks than the baggie method. Also water rooting had helped me saved many variants as the slightest rot will show in water cloudiness or foul smell. This happens to my last stick of Lamperia and it eventually took with 2" of a cutting left. The plant is about 2 ft tall now. Thanks Al for the heads up. Really good info. I will stick more to the bag method.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

AL, in this thread I'm talking about rooting "fig cuttings" not other woody material. In this specific application using a perlite/UPM mixture has given me a very high success rate. It's not theoretical but factual and anyone should be able to get a similar high success rate. I attribute the higher success rate in part due to the SUPERIOR roots that form in a perlite/UPM rooting mix.

I'd still like to see some pictures of roots that are produced in an inert sphagnum moss/perlite mix for comparison to the pictures of the perlite/UPM mix........stronger roots usually equates to a higher success rate. UPM produces documented stronger roots. Those pictures tell it all.

Dan
Cajun fig hunter..........


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RE: Use Coarse

I'd like to point this out for those who might not know this.........

Vermiculite and Perlite comes in different grades or particle sizes. For rooting fig cuttings it is best to use the COARSE grade of perlite or vermiculite. Coarse grade will be written on the bag. The finer grades hold entirely too much water........especially vermiculite.

Dan
Specilizing in the LSU bred figs..........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 22, 09 at 14:31

Dan - I really didn't want to argue this with you.

F carica is an extremely vigorous plant because of its genetic coding. It produces plump and fleshy roots as a matter of course. The pictures you offered are nothing out of the ordinary - I'm sorry - and rooting figs is no different than rooting a whole host of other woody material - it just isn't. To think that figs are something special or that they require different treatment than dozens if not hundreds of other species is just not supportable. When it comes to woody cuttings, they're simple - FAR easier than about 95% of other woody material.

You may think that you've achieved the highest success rate and the fastest rooting you can achieve, but I can tell you unequivocally that you haven't. If you want to believe that you have, I don't mind. The potting soil you referred to is just another of hundreds - nothing special - nothing magical in it. I stopped rooting in potting soils 20 years ago because I found MANY other surer, more productive, and faster methods.

What I said upthread is logical, supportable by settled science, and based on many years of experience. Unfortunately, one of the sad tragedies of science is the slaying of beautiful hypotheses by ugly facts.

*********************

... has "given you a very high success rate" as compared to what?

If you haven't compared it to anything, to say your offering is factual and anyone should be able to achieve it, is meaningless.

If superior roots did actually form in the medium you describe, it would be illogical to attribute the success rate to those "superior roots" (as you claimed) because the roots have to form FIRST.

WHY do stronger roots equate to a higher success rate, when roots strengthen AFTER they form, AFTER success is a given.

"UPM produces documented stronger roots." Stronger than what? What documentation?

Al
Specializing in stamping out misinformation ....



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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al, I really don't want to argue with you either and I can assure you that you do not have a lock on good science. I am confident that anyone having problems with rooting their fig cuttings will benefit by using some of the simple, practical suggestions that I have made. I'm all for whatever method works in getting plant-able trees. I know what works well for me and at least I'm willing to share my methods with others.........

Dan
Just reporting on proven methods......does anyone really care that I post such information? ......or should I just shut up??


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I too have had excellent results using UPM for rooting cuttings!

I guess I will stay with what works the best for me.

Cecil


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

UPM & Coarse perlite worked great for me too! I've never tried any of Al's mixes mostly because I don't grow in pots and have had such good results rooting with the UPM. Hey,"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my motto.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Tapla ,
I am new to the forum and to rooting hardwood cuttings of figs. Could you walk a novice through the exact process you would use on a home scale. I have the hardwood cuttings and I have the supercoarse perlite and chopped sphagnum moss.
What are my next steps to get good results. Whatever you could say to guide a novice through the process to get nice strong plants. I am in New hampshire and I am used to starting good quality vegetable seedlings with extras to sell ,but hardwood cuttings are new for me.
Thanks ,
Kerry


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 22, 09 at 18:00

Imagine that in a conversation, I say "I get excellent results using this here bucksaw for cutting firewood to heat my home, and it ain't broke, so I'm not interested in fixing it"? Then someone comes along and tells him about something called a chainsaw. Now, the guy who tells him about the chainsaw has the advantage of years and years of experience cutting wood - in addition, to having used a bucksaw AND the chainsaw, so he's absolutely certain that the chainsaw is a much better choice, and he tells the bucksaw guy a second time about his experience, even explains it in scientific terms. What would YOU think when the bucksaw guy, who's never heard of a chainsaw, refuses to even consider using the chainsaw and holds tight to the idea that the chainsaw guy has to be wrong, because you see, the bucksaw gives excellent results and it ain't broke - so there's no sense in fixing it. If I was a chainsaw salesman, I'd probably move along in search of someone with a more open mind, but since I'm not, it really wouldn't matter.

What I said upthread wasn't aimed at trying to get anyone who doesn't want to change anything to abandon what they might mistakenly think is the superlative method. It was aimed at others reading the thread - that they might want to consider that perlite and potting soil it's just a mediocre way to root and there are plenty of better options; and, a lot of listed reasons why sphagnum moss and either screened Turface or perlite is superior to potting soil and perlite. "It works for me" says little more than I'm happy with the status quo and not interested in entertaining the thought there is something better.

DWF - I'm not a fan of having cuttings in leaf much before you can put them outside in the spring. My preferred method would be to take dormant cuttings just before the ground freezes & bundle them so the proximal and distal ends are oriented in the same direction. I would bury them in the ground with the proximal end up and about 4" under the soil. When the figs or mulberry trees in the landscape show signs of bud movement, I would dig them up and orient them distal end up in the landscape or in a 50/50 mix of screened Turface or perlite and chopped sphagnum moss. Alternately, you could also pot them directly into the soil that is referred to here called the gritty mix.

One other point - it's been shown that soils like those referred to as the 'gritty mix' are far superior to peat/perlite-based soils as media for woody plants because of their structural stability and superior aeration. Why would we think that somehow cuttings would do better in a peat/perlite mix when our trees don't. Doesn't it seem perfectly logical that a highly aerated and stable mix of screened Turface or perlite and chopped sphagnum, which is KNOWN for it's effectiveness at stimulating rooting (the preferred air-layer medium - remember?) AND its anti-fungal properties, would make a medium for rooting cuttings that is better than a non sterile and water-retentive mix of potting soil and perlite?

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Thanks for the quick reply Al. If I pot them up directly into the gritty mix , 50/50 perlite /chopped sphagnum moss in my case ,how often would you think I would need to water ? The basement area I use for seedlings is normally between 58 to 63 F ; humidity , I am not certain,but is near the boiler and basement has cement floor,so fairly dry.
Are the pots best covered with a humidity dome in most cases? I am thinking I would want to start 6 to 8 weeks before last frost is that reasonable timing? I have lots of 4 inch and 5.5 inch deep pots , would those be appropriate size for the cuttings?
Thanks , Kerry
(I will take an actual humidity reading for the propagation area)


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 22, 09 at 19:15

If I had cuttings I had to pot up now, I would pot 'em and put them in my garage & make sure they don't dry out. They'll root over the winter & start pushing foliage when the media temperature is consistently above 45-50*. If you let them get warm now, they'll push foliage & you'll need to tend to them & nurse them through the winter. You'll end up in spring with a plant with much less vitality and lower energy reserves than it would have had if you'd've let it rest for the winter.

If you're keeping the cuttings chilled now (<42*), starting them 6 weeks before the last frost is a good plan.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al, you can poke fun all you want,no matter,but I wasn't at all questioning your science. I just stated what works for me. If my rooting success was any better, I don't know what I'd do. I have figs trees for everyone in town as it is!LOL
Tim(Extremely Open Minded)


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Thanks again Al for your answer.
Yes , they are stored in the fridge right now.
I could find a place in the basement maybe around 55F, but the next spot besides that with a cooler stable temperature ( besides the fridge) is the barn basement which is between 23F and 26F.
I have begun to start a few cuttings , just to get a feel for it and if they do root I have a decent lighting set up so should be able to keep them in ok shape for the winter.
Thanks,
Kerry


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 22, 09 at 22:08

Really guys, I'm not poking fun of you. Way upthread I carefully explained WHY the moss & Turface or perlite would be MUCH better than potting soil and perlite or vermiculite, and what I heard in reply was a bunch of anecdote in argument, half of which didn't apply and the other half unsupportable. Like I said, I don't care a whit what you guys choose to grow or root in, but others might not want to follow suit once they've heard the real skinny and had the lack of logic in supporting the method pointed out. It would have been no big deal if someone didn't insist on trying to point to a mediocre method as something nearly miraculous.

If Dan is certain that his particular brand of potting soil and peat is something that should be recommended over other methods, he should be able to explain exactly why he thinks that. What makes it better. "It works for me" doesn't work for me. That gains you 0 points in a debate.

I saw a picture of typical fig roots touted as something special. They are not. They look just the way fig roots are supposed to look. It's simply a case of someone finding a new method or formula that seems only to be better than the last method he tried. He discounts other methods, the science behind them, more than 20 years experience rooting woody plants, and the testimony of someone who left behind rooting in container soils and perlite in favor of much superior methods years ago so he wouldn't have to admit there might be a better way. That's not helpful to the forum.

I pointed out the gaping holes in the science and reasoning re. what was offered, and I'm still waiting for a meaningful reply.

************************

You're welcome, Kerry. If you think there might be a way I can help more, I'll try my best.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

If I understand correctly everything I read above, Al's and Dan's write-up do not contradict but the two are talking about two different aspects of rooting process. The discussion is about the rooting phase and not the plant growth phase:
In my view, Al is recommending a sterile rooting mix that causes early root formation with high success. The salient parameters are EARLY rooting with high success. To disprove this, one has to show higher success of early rooting than this mix.
Dan suggests that his mix provides a bulk of good, strong and fat looking roots because of nutrients available in the mix (instead of sterile mix with no nutrients). I do not see any claim of early rooting compared to Al's mix.

I really do not see a real contradiction.

So, I thought of planning an experimental rooting system in 32 oz clear pot. I will make a newspaper cylinder of 1.5" diameter and the height of the pot and stand the cutting in this open ended cylinder and fill it with Al'x sterile mix (properly moist Sphagnum moss plus Perlite) around the cutting needed for root initiation. Then make this paper cylinder, with the cutting in its centre, stand in the centre of the 32 oz clear pot and drop the just moistened soil mix suggested by Dan around the paper cylinder.
The cutting should see the best of both suggestions. Al's mix of Sphagnum moss plus Perlite should help in early/successful rooting with reduced risk of mold or rot and in due time the roots pass through the wet newspaper cylindrical barrier to the nutrient filled UPM/Perlite mix suggested by Dan (in Canada it could be 'PRO-MIX HP' i.e. High Porosity), keeping the pot in warmish humid environments (bag dome etc).

What am I missing in my understanding of the situatin?


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Thanks Al. I am going to get myself a bag of sphagnum moss and a chopping block.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al,

As I stated........I really don't want to argue with you. When a very simple and practical method (Improved Baggie Method) consistently yields a very high rooting success rate in producing fig trees that are ready to be planted in the ground,.....it is very meaningful to this fig forum.

Ottawan,

You are correct in your understanding. The Improved Baggie Method does produce early roots too.

Dan
Geaux Tigers......


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 23, 09 at 9:28

Ottowan - what you're missing is the fact that Dan's arguments are shot full of holes. Potting soil, no matter if it's ADVERTISED as the best in the west, is not a good medium for starting cuttings. You cannot alter the drainage characteristics of potting soil by adding perlite (or vermiculite) unless you add so much perlite the potting soil becomes the minor fraction of the mix. Illustration: how much perlite must you add to pudding to get it to drain well? Maximizing aeration is EXTREMELY important in ensuring you're providing the best cultural conditions for the induction of roots.

Horticulturists have been using sphagnum moss for literally hundreds of years. It's used all over the world as a preferred air-layering medium because of how quickly it stimulates roots to form. Nutrition isn't a significant enhancement in the rooting process until AFTER roots have formed, and that's what fertilizer is for.

That one person with limited experience feels a method that's been considered mediocre for a looong time is the nutts, is not a recommendation everyone should want to hang their hat on. It just doesn't make either scientific or logical sense to tout that particular method as being the end-all to your rooting endeavors and the idea falls completely apart under even casual scrutiny.

It may work well enough at times to satisfy those who aren't aware of a better method, or those that DO know of a better method yet are satisfied with something less effective. I'm only in this debate (really, no actual debate so far) so others who want something better can see there IS something better, and to give them the information they need to make an informed decision.

There's really no need for me to belabor it any longer, but I'd be happy to continue the conversation if I hear anything aside from "It works for me", or if I see a little sound reasoning and/or scientific support. By 'scientific', I simply mean support that is rooted in settled science ........ and wishing real hard doesn't count, either. ;o)

************************************

You're welcome, Paully. Use a food processor. ;o)

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al,

Thanks for posting your experiences and research.

I have a couple of questions:

Do you skip the baggie altogether and root directly in the cup?

Do you use an enclosed container as a "greenhouse" to maintain moisture/humidity? (If yes, what level of humidity are you reading at?)

Which is the "Correct" sphagnum moss to use? I read elsewhere someone saying they bought the "wrong" sphagnum moss.

It sounds like you use either perlite+sphagnum or turface+sphagnum - which do you prefer? Have you tried all three together in a 1-part/each mixture? Or a 25/25/50 perlite/turface/sphagnum?

Just for understanding, is there any fertilization with your method, or do the cuttings actually need nutrients at the stages of rooting we will see in the cups, or maybe they get nutrients from the blend?


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RE: using UPM/perlite for rooting

Al has admitted that he never has used UPM and yet he is able to make sweeping theoretical claims about the physical properties and rooting suitability of UPM..........my that sounds very closed minded to me and not very scientific. I guess all the science has already been done on rooting fig cuttings and all the horticulturists out there are in agreement with Al......my bad.

Dan
Geaux Tigers...........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 23, 09 at 14:52

Has Al used UPM? - NO. * Is UPM just another potting soil? - YES * Does Al have experience with dozens and dozens of other potting soils just like UPM? - Yes * Is there ANY reason for Al or anyone else to believe there is anything special about UPM potting soil? - NO * Does Al or anyone else need to ride the bus to know the wheels go round and round? - NO

Don't waste your energy throwing stones - just disprove anything I said, or fault the logic. Share what is different or so special about your potting soil. What sets it apart from other potting soils? You've been invited to that conversation several times. I'm all ears.

Casting stones at me doesn't enlighten anyone. It's also amusing that you mention sweeping statements, because so far, you've been unable to support your version of anything we've disagreed on. I think it's evident that I'm not, and don't need to be doing any posturing in this conversation, even though the thread does contain a generous measure thereof.

*****************************

SH - I use a wide variety of rooting methods. In my zone, if I had a batch of dormant cuttings to root, they would be in a flat or a clay bulb pan and in my cold garage. I don't often use the baggie method because it represents an additional step, and with the number of trees I tend, efficiency and economy of effort is something I appreciate. I also avoid having to nurse temperate trees through the winter indoors.

If I was rooting temperate material indoors, I would use some sort of tenting arrangement to keep humidity levels around the 90% range. I own a glass company, so it's a snap for me to build propagation chambers out of glass. I would use bottom heat to warm the soil to around 75*. I would also keep the cuttings under good light that favors the blue end of the spectrum (cool white) - probably something like 18/6.

What you root in doesn't matter much, as long as you stay within some parameters. The material you use should be stable and highly aerated (vermiculite and potting soil are neither). BIG air spaces that are very high in humidity offer the best environment for rooting. The material should have a favorable pH and not be phytotoxic. Screened Turface and perlite fit that bill very nicely, but you could also use pumice or Haydite, even crushed granite if you wish. I like screened Turface because it holds LOTS of water in internal pores, but no perched water.

One thing that DOES make a difference is the addition of sphagnum moss (SM) to your media. SM has been used for centuries as a poultice for wounds, because of its ability to absorb and its anti-bacterial/fungal properties. As a plant root zone media it is especially useful due to its water-holding, water-releasing properties, and because it contains phytonutrients that stimulate roots and prevent root zone diseases. It is even capable of absorbing moisture from the air.

Every part of SM is permeated with tiny open tubes and spaces, resulting in a system of delicate capillary cells similar to that of a sponge. The cells readily absorb water and retain it. Even if the water is squeezed out, moss does not compact and is always ready to take in fluid again.

SM produces an antibiotic substance (sphagnan) that staves off rot in several ways. It binds with proteins on the surface of microorganisms in a way that immobilizes them and takes them out of the picture. Its highly reactive carbonyl groups also alter the chemicals and nutrients that would be necessary for the decomposition of organic matter. SM also causes the organic matter to undergo certain chemical changes that make it more impervious to rot actually similar to how animal skins can be preserved as leather.

I don't fertilize until I'm sure the cuttings have rooted. Low soil EC and TDS (EC = electrical conductivity and TDS = total dissolved solids [in the soil solution]. These are measures of soluble salts/fertility) facilitates water movement into cells and conversely, higher levels of EC and TDS inhibit water movement into the cells of cuttings. When cuttings have rooted, I apply low doses of a complete (including micronutrients) fertilizer with a RATIO of 3:1:2 (do not confuse ratio with %. 24-8-16, 12-4-8, and 9-3-6 are ALL 3:1:2 ratio fertilizers.

Al



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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al , Can you say how cold it is in the cold garage where you would overwinter your cuttings in a clay bulb pan. Is it an attached garage that doesn't get below freezing ?
Also , would zeolite , size 14/40 , which is similar size to builders sand , serve as a replacement for the perlite or turface ? I ask only because I happen to have some on hand and the water holding characteristics sound similar
to turface.
Thanks , Kerry


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 23, 09 at 20:05

The air temp varies considerably (attached), but I generally keep the door closed. Sometimes, the soil in plants on tables freezes, but the soil in plants on the floor doesn't. Cuttings and newly established plants that are hardy only to a zone warmer than I, get placed on the floor.

On a size for size basis, zeolite is a suitable substitute for Turface, but 14/40 has a wide range of particulate sizes in it, all of them small. If you imagine a quart jar full of boulder size marbles (the really big jaw breaker-size) you can see there is lots of air space because of the uniform particle size, but you can add a pint of BBs to a quart of boulders, and then a pint of 14/40 to the boulders and BBs. So now you have 2 quarts of components in a 1 quart jar, but the aeration was destroyed along the way. That's very similar to what you would have with the 14/40, except the 14 mesh particles are even too fine to be considered a good choice for container or rooting media - same reason potting soil is not a good choice. I think you'd be better off with straight perlite or screened Turface, or other material in the size range of 6/12 mesh ...... + the moss if you plan to use it.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al , Found another bag of Zeolite that is more the same size as my super coarse perlite. It says 4x5 as size rating on it.
I will definitely be using the moss , the more I read about it the better it sounds.
So the fig cuttings overwintering on the garage floor would be in the same gritty mix you specified?
Another hardwood cutting question : I read in an old post a member called Axier said that for cuttings stored in a fridge he wondered why people wrapped them in damp paper towel or newspaper in ziplocks instead of simply tightly wrapping them in kitchen plastic wrap in ziplocks to preserve moisture instead of introducing extra moisture. He had no mold problems. Do you think this is a good way to store cuttings in the fridge for a month or two ?
Thanks , Kerry


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 23, 09 at 22:53

If you're going to store them in a baggie, why not store them in something anti-fungal/bacterial? - like sphagnum moss? I'd wrap them in moss & then something porous (paper towel, newspaper .....) to keep the wood from touching the plastic. Burp the bag occasionally to let any CO2, methane, and sulfurous gasses out. Prepare the cuttings so they fit in a mason jar packed with damp moss with a little hole in the lid if you want.

I think it would be better for you if you told me what you're trying to achieve and what you have to work with, and we can try to tailor a plan that best suits YOU, instead of you trying to figure out what I do. As noted above, I use a lot of different methods based on several different factors. Remember too, that I have no interest in being fully involved in the rooting process from start to finish. After you've seen thousands of cuttings forming roots, you'll lose interest in 'seeing' the roots and you'll want to just streamline the process and do whatever's easiest. For me, that means almost all dormant cuttings (temperate trees) that are timed to start pushing foliage in the spring when the landscape wakes up. Most of my cuttings are done in the ground - in raised beds filled with a light soil, because that requires the least amount of bother. You don't get as high a success rate as you do with moss/Turface, but you compensate by starting more cuttings than you'll actually need/want.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Four cuttings of Martin's Unknown went directly to cups on W 16 December 2009.

From left to right:

Two pencil think, branch tip cuttings (with tips cut off); Cup 1 = 50/50 Perlite/Pro-Mix BX and Cup 2 = 50/50 Perlite/Chopped Sphagnum.

Next two index finger thick, mid-branch cuttings; Cup 3 = 50/50 Turface/Pro-Mix BX and Cup 4 = 50/50 Turface/Chopped Sphagnum.

Also testing sphagnum in baggie vs. newspaper wrapped sphagnum in baggie vs. direct into 50/50 Perlite/Pro-Mix BX.

JD


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Hi Al,

It's always been my misguided (?) belief that cuttings, once rooting commenced, needed some sort of nutrients to replace what is being consumed from the stem during the rooting process. This is the one reason I switched to a potting soil/perlite mix from a vermiculite/perlite mix. I've not had what I consider good results, maybe 60%. I changed to a perlite/cactus mix last summer for a faster draining mix. No results to report on this mixture as yet.

From what I've read in this thread, if I understand you correctly, the cuttings do not need to uptake nutrients while rooting hence they can start off in the perlite/SM mix.

At what point in the process do they need nutrients to replace what's being consumed by the new growth? I realize each cutting is different based on girth and length, but in general, when should some sort of fertilization start? I'm going to give the turface/perlite/SM mix a try this year and don't want to 'starve' the poor things! :-)

Another thing, do you continue to grow them in this mix permanently or switch to another combination as they mature?

Sue


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Hi Al ,
What I would like to achieve is to root the 60 plus, 8 inch , common fig cuttings that I have on hand with the highest percentage possible. I would like to get the best growth possible during the coming growing season so I have sturdy plants to give to friends , a few to sell perhaps , and plenty to sucessfully overwinter for a small taste of the fruit the next summer/fall. And enough to try planting in ground at some point in the future.
What I have to work with is one alloted crisper drawer in the fridge( a hard fought victory , that.) ; house basement space of around 60F with some recesses as low as 54F ; lighted bench space in the house basement that could hold 60 - 10/20 trays ,and two 4 foot heat mats with temp control.
As far as pots plenty of 3 1/2 inch deeps , plenty of 5 1/2 inch deeps , some 4 1/2 , plenty of nursery pots 1000's and 1200's, 60 - 5 gal sub irrigated pots.
For mix components : a 23 lb. bag of super coarse perlite , still looking for the sphagnum moss. Is it sold chopped ?
Thanks , Kerry


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 24, 09 at 12:03

Unrooted cuttings rely on their reserves of nutrients to help the cutting remain viable until they form roots. Until they DO actually form roots, they do not absorb additional nutrients from the rooting media. The cuttings get these reserves from the parent stock plant the cutting was originally taken from. Cuttings do absorb nutrients from the rooting or potting media once the roots have formed, but until the formation of roots is a done deal, again, they depend on internal reserves. The level of nutrients in the cuttings will be highest when first taken from the stock plant, declines as the cutting is rooted, and increases again once roots develop.

Nutrient-related tip: Be sure the parent plant (plant you will be taking your cuttings from) is growing with good vitality, or WAS - just before it shed it's foliage in preparation for a winter's rest, and well fertilized in the period immediately before actually taking the cuttings. This will ensure that the cuttings you do take will have the maximum amount of nutrients in them. Ensuring the cuttings have high nutrient levels will increase your odds of them surviving past the critical stage of when the unrooted cutting turns into a cutting with roots that is able to absorb new nutrients from the soil. The vitality level of the parent material is extremely important in establishing success rates AND the length of time it takes cuttings to root.
Do small scale tests and record your findings. Add low doses of fertilizer to your rooting media when you think the cuttings have rooted. This will ensure the cuttings will have nutrients available when they need them and can absorb them. Too little fertilizer at this time is better than too much! Note which plants do best and the amount of fertilizer you used. Good record keeping will enable you to duplicate the process when you find the one that works best for you and how you're trying to approach the rooting process. Your records will also keep you from making the same mistakes over and over again!
It's worth repeating when I suggest careful attention to your stock plants nutritional health before taking cuttings is one of the easiest methods you can do to be sure your cuttings have the nutrients available to them during the rooting process.

After the cuttings have rooted, I transfer them to a gritty soil that is extremely well-aerated. I (and many others) have found this soil to be vastly superior to peat or coir-based commercially prepared potting soils and far more durable, structurally.

Photobucket

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al,

You can cite all the technical mumbo jumbo that you like to educate, impress, or confuse others.....I am one who has the scientific and technical background to clearly understand all of what you are saying. I am not throwing stones when I state the obvious that you, like many other intellectuals or theoretical types, have a closed mind and that my friend is not very scientific. As, I stated twice before I have no desire to argue with you. In some of your past posts you have claimed that cleaning fig cuttings using Dawn AB soap and dilute Clorox was harmful to cuttings......I have produced hundreds of figs trees from cuttings that say otherwise. My guess is that you haven't tried that very simple, beneficial procedure either.

If you do in fact have the "ultimate" method for rooting fig cuttings, please share the ENTIRE PREOCESS with us from the taking of the cuttings to the potting up of the fig starts in its final mix. That is what many of us would love to see from you. That would be most helpful to this fig forum. I have already posted such an entire procedure using the Improved Baggie Method where I give very specific, practical information that is intended to help insure success.......not confuse. As I stated many times, I achieve a "very high" success rate with it. However, I'm always open to better methods and am a firm believer that the "best" method is whatever produces new trees for the individual in their particular situation.

There are many ways to root fig cuttings. I use several methods and I'm developing some very promising new techniques. If I had a BAC (Bachelor of Arts and Crafts) degree in horticulture, I'm sure I would have a closed mind too and wouldn't be trying them.

The Improve Baggie Method produces a very high success rate for me. In one of my threads posed on the fig4fun forum, I gave info for the rooting of 6 eight inch Marseilles VS Black cuttings from Herman2. MVS is claimed by many to be a hard to root cultivar. I attained >100% success rate (depends on how you calculate it)by producing eight plantable trees and probably six more.

My experiment is still not over as I let several buds grow and develop on the cutting (on purpose) that were below the soil line in their rooting cups(an advantage to using the Improved Baggie Method). In the spring I intend to cut these nice bud sprouts from the mother starts to produce even more new MVS fig trees. I expect to have an additional six new starts..... So, getting 14 plantable new MVS fig trees from 6 eight inch cuttings is pretty good by my standards......some would claim a 233% success rate....I just claim it to be a "very high" success rate. And yes, I washed the cuttings with both Dawn Anti-bacterial soap and dilute Clorox and used UPM (an excellent airy rooting mix). This in not theory....it is just the facts that I hope is helpful to others in the successful rooting of their cuttings.

Dan
Hoping that Al posts a complete fig cutting rooting procedure for us.............


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 24, 09 at 13:35

We're not talking about Clorox or dish soap, and that's not what I claimed, so let's remain on topic and not expand to obfuscate, a predictable tactic when you're in a corner. ;o)

Clear it up for us by explaining:

... has "given you a very high success rate" as compared to what?

If you haven't compared it to anything, to say your offering is factual and anyone should be able to achieve it, is meaningless.

If superior roots did actually form in the medium you describe, it would be illogical to attribute the success rate to those "superior roots" (as you claimed) because the roots have to form FIRST.

WHY do stronger roots equate to a higher success rate, when roots strengthen AFTER they form, AFTER success is a given.

"UPM produces documented stronger roots." Stronger than what? What documentation?

All you've done is taken a mediocre rooting method and made a big deal out of it. What I'm saying is it ain't all that. Tell us why it is.

As far as me being theoretical or intellectual ..... is that a BAD thing? I'll cop to both, but I've also probably been manipulating plant material in ways you've never even heard of for more than 20 years, and working with plants long before that. If you'd like to do a side-by-side comparison of our paths of enlightenment here, I'm up for that, too.

The conversation has become redundant, with me pointing to the gaping holes in what you've offered and you avoiding much other than personal attack and trying to expand the topic in reply - not even answering the simple questions. Have the last word if you like.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al,

You start you comments by saying that you don't want to argue......yet your posts directed at me indicate that you do in fact want an argument. I give you very specific, measured results about the Improved Baggie Method ....yet that is not good enough for you. I know that your mind is already closed and there is nothing that I can say to change it.......so argument is futile. Sorry, but you did claim that the cleaning of fig cuttings using Dawn and Clorox was harmful to cuttings. Members can bring up that posting if they so desire.

There is nothing at all wrong with being theoretical or intellectual........unless it keeps one from having an open mind and understanding that practically has its merits too.

If you really do have a good procedure for rooting fig cuttings as you claim that you do.........please post your entire fig rooting procedure from start to finish. You love to write, claim the knowledge, and it would be most helpful to all on this forum. Give the members here (including me) the benefit of your vast experience. With your clearly written fig rooting procedure in hand , I'm sure members can then decide what works best for them.......and you and I won't need to argue or present technical data.

How about it Al, will you put your detailed procedure in writing for us?????

Dan
Cajung fig hunter...........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I am relatively new to rooting cuttings but I
have had good luck with spag moss and perlite
using baggie method with cuttings wrapped in moist newspaper and layers of moss to get initials/roots
I now have some potted in 3"peat pots in mixture of
1/2 moss 1/2 perlite of the cuttings that have initials.
I plan on moving entire peat pots to larger pots
as soon as roots penetrate peat pots.
In this manner tender roots are not disturbed.
Has anyone tried this?and what do some of you experienced
people think of this.Comments and suggestions please.
Thanks
Tom


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RE: Requesting Al's Rooting Procedure

Tom,

I think that is an excellent idea....thank you for taking the time to post that information. Hopefully, Al will soon post his detailed fig rooting procedure from start to finish.....maybe we'll see his take on how to prevent disturbing those tender roots, his take on moisture control, and his take on the need for temperature control, etc.

Dan
Trialing a couple hundred fig trees in South Louisiana......


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 24, 09 at 15:44

I don't really care to dance to your tune, or expend any effort to satisfy you by undertaking an exercise with a forgone conclusion. People have sought me out directly by the hundreds at GW for advice they know they can rely on to be solid, but I suppose that's because I pulled the wool over their eyes - hmm? I continue to remain focused on the subject while you continue to attempt to expand the topic, to obfuscate, and turn the conversation personal, while continuing to refuse to explain illogical and unsound offerings (see several invitations to explain above). You haven't explained even one offering that I challenged the validity of. The sarcasm and taunting antics on this and other threads also diminish you. So sad. I'll stand on my long record - and you? (Rhetorical, no need to reply.)

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al,

Could it be that you won't post a complete, "written" fig cutting propagation method on this forum is because you do not have one like you claim? Is it perhaps all theoretical and rhetorical to you? Afraid of having your methods verified by the other form members and having your nits picked too by other intellectual Monday morning quarterbacks? True scientist are not afraid of peer review or afraid to have their methods challenged or verified by independent parties. I sure am not afraid because, I have lots of hands-on experience and know what to expect with the methods that I use.

I have no problems whatsoever in posting my completely written fig cutting rooting procedure (Improved Baggie Method)......because I KNOW the method works very well and ANYONE on this forum who exactly follows that procedure using UPM and chemical cleaning can expect to achieve a "high" success rate like I do. I am surprised that you are apparently afraid of a little fig forum peer review of your written methods........I'm disappointed but fully understand why you probably won't. My college professors did this same thing when they were challenged.

Other Forum Members,

Perhaps you can convince Al to post a written fig cutting rooting method for all of us to see,review, and use. When and if he does, I promise that I will likewise re-write and clarify the Improved Baggie Method and post again for all of you to use too.....and you can be the judge of what works best for you.....and you can be the judge of my credibility. I'd love for AL to take me up on this challenge. Perhaps you believe as I do that this would be of great benefit to this fig forum.

Dan
Still hoping to see AL's written fig cutting rooting method........

And wishing Peace on Earth and to all forum members.....


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Wishing PEACE on Earth and Peace in the Forum.

Dan
You mentioned your Improved Baggie Method posted on F4F. Since it is not there any more and people have asked for it, wouldn' you reconsider. It is Christmas eve and good time to have that method reposted on F4F for the benefit of old and new members on both FOrums.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 24, 09 at 19:54

Here is Jon's best complete rooting procedure that I ever saw (together with pics!).
http://figs4fun.com/basics_Rooting.html

Plus, I first heard that a pre-wash with soap helps (done before the 10% bleach treatment):
http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=2725178
So far I have not done/tried this.

Also, in addition; it was mentioned that newspaper as being a better substitute for paper-towels
(I forgot by who), and that sphagnum moss is still better
than both (first hinted by Al).
I have tried SM and it worked very well, specially for me as I try not to disturb those initial
fragile roots.


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RE: -using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 24, 09 at 20:11

Here is quick hyper-link to Jon's procedure.

And let us not forget the old-way of just putting a fig
twig in the (backyard) soil...

Here is a link that might be useful: Fig Rooting Basics


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I guess some people are just afraid to have their "theoretical" fig rooting procedure "verified" by others. Or maybe they already know that their "theoretical" method might not match a documented 100%+ rooting success rate.....and that would be too embarrassing. "Hats off" to Jon V. and others for having the courage to post their procedures and results which in turn allows others of us to improve upon them. "Hats on" to those who claim to be "Specializing in stamping out misinformation ...." yet shrink from a direct challenge to their beliefs.

I still would love to challenge Al's theoretical "chainsaw" rooting method with my "handsaw" method. My handsaw method uses a UPM/perlite rooting mix and cleans cuttings with not one but two phytotoxins.....which in "THEORY" are harmful to fig rooting. Al wanted a definition of "Superior" roots, if he would post his fig rooting procedure we could post pictures for comparison and illustration. Forum members could decide for themselves what is superior......

Look at these monster roots that developed in a UPM/perlite mix..... I'm willing to bet they are superior to what many get using other rooting material.

Dan
No fear.........Semper Fi

Here is a link that might be useful: Monster roots using UPM/Perlite


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 31, 09 at 14:57

You couldn't/wouldn't answer the simplest questions about "your" method, but if you look far enough back, you'll discover that it was I who first introduced this forum to rooting in Ziploc bags and perlite, so I was using it before you'd even heard of it. I'm not sure how/why you took credit for "improving" it, but I just smiled & said nothing because it was offered as just another tool for the forum.

You issue challenges as though some one should feel obligated to dance to your tune, but you're really just making yourself look foolish. I can stand on a record of years of being sought out (literally) on these forums for providing reliable information, while you take something mediocre and set it on a pedestal and label it the best thing since sliced bread. If you want to do something other than posture for a small crowd, perhaps you could concentrate on refuting anything I said with facts. BTW - In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' After reading your method, some might be tempted to suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. A picture of fig roots that look like fig roots are supposed to look like hardly adds weight to the flawed arguments you offered in support.

The cuttings are not rooting BECAUSE of "your" method, they root in spite of it. You really need to stop grasping at credit and offer that credit, as I have, where it is most due, which is the high level of genetic vigor with which the Moraceae family was endowed that makes it possible to root figs in practically anything short of a lava flow.

I never said that rooting in a well-aerated medium that included sphagnum moss was MY method. It and similar has been around for years and years. I simply said it is better than rooting in potting soil, and I said exactly and precisely WHY it is better. You need to tell us why I am and millions of horticulturists are so wrong and why you are so right, what makes "your" method superior to all comers?

You damage yourself far more than me with your continued ululating and personal attacks. You really should let it go - you'll be seen as better for it.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 31, 09 at 15:15

Some more good info (.pdf files) on rooting figs
(one needs to be logged-in):
http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3525620

Here is a link that might be useful: a couple of ebooks


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

The Improved Baggie Method offers excellent mold prevention techniques and much better control of moisture using very specific actionable rooting recommendations that are detailed into a "written" method. The method specifically states not to use any heating source. This came about due to my understanding of both relative humidity & absolute humidity and how the two are related and affected by rooting temperature and outside atmospheric pressure. Cleaning techniques are an area of my expertise.

Still won't put "your" fig rooting method into writing for verification of your theoretical claims??? How could your method (whatever that is) possibly be worst than the Improved Baggie Method that uses two phytoxins on the cuttings, uses paper towels instead of newspaper, uses UPM/perlite instead of Chainsaw rooting mix???? Don't confuse a "challenge" to an attack.....they are not the same. I am not attacking you.......I am challenging you and your closed mind. True scientists do not fear being challenged. Again I challenge you to put your entire fig rooting method in writing for the forum members to use......and I will likewise do the same. Let others then decide what works best for them. They can and will decide on what "superior" means to them.

Re-read Al's earlier post above that was directed at me where he lays claim to "Specializing in stamping out misinformation ...."

Well I lay claim that the Improved Baggie Method is an excellent method and hereby again challenge Al to "stamp out that misinformation" by publishing his fig cutting rooting method. I stand ready to back up what I say because it is a very practical method not one based solely on theory. Surely a method that uses two phytotoxins and UPM/perlite as a rooting mix cannot stand up to Al's method can it???

Dan
No fear.........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

The "The Improved Baggie Method" no longer exists.

You deleted it from the Internets.

It is not logical to keep referring to a method which you developed, yet subsequently deleted. Anyone who was not around to read about it has no clue what the heck you're talking about. This piece of history is now gone.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Does Al's chainsaw rooting method really exist or is it just a theoretical procedure that he knows/believes should work well? Has it ever been put on the Internet at any time much less deleted for good reason? Did I completely miss his detailed procedure? .....I sure would like to see it if I did miss it. Like I've stated several times in this thread.....I will be more than happy to re-post a streamlined version of the improved baggie method with all the pertinent info just a soon as Al posts his chainsaw fig rooting method.

Just don't tell us about a favorite rooting mix.....tell us the WHOLE rooting method from sticks to trees ready to go in the ground. Tell us specifically how you control temperature, moisture, mold, and how you harden off those new starts to insure a high success rate. Don't just talk about certain chosen bits and pieces of the rooting process....and lay claim to harmful misinformation.....put the entire process in writing so that the sum total of all the individual steps in the rooting process can be measured. The improved baggie method produces a very high success rate of turning sticks into plantable trees.......even when using plain paper towels, Phytoxins, and UPM. How high a success rate depends on how it is calculated....from one documented (on the other fig forum) experiment using 6 eight inch Marseilles VS Black cuttings it was somewhere between 100 to 233% success in producing plantable trees.

Remember it was Al not me that started this as he (according to his earlier post) wants to "Specialize in stamping out misinformation.....". His comment was specifically directed at me. If Al really wanted to, he could write a detailed fig rooting procedure in no time at all.....of course that may well open up the discussion to just where the misinformation lies.....and that my friend is why my challenge won't likely be accepted. What kind of mis-information is there in a method that consistently produces a very high success rate?

Dan


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by gorgi z6b NJ (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 31, 09 at 22:33

Can please everybody just shut-up along with (bad) year 2009!

Think of the good coming year 2010....


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Speak for yourself George. 2009 was a great fig year for me......I have no intention of shutting up and will continue to share good fig information on this nice fig forum.

Dan
Happy New Year to all.........


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

hey guys: i hope you didn't give up on us? seriously! nothing wrong to exchange the ideas, it's interesting for me as a nonscientist to read something what other ppl think and do, and know.

seriously promise not to give up unless you run out of "material".

Best wishes to all.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

How can George tell any member to "SHUT UP"

Yet the GW/FF send me an email warning me not to be "Rude & obnoxious" GW/FF what is going on here?

Cecil


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Cecil, consider this:

As someone who speaks three languages (english is my 1st language), when I speak my secondary and tertiary language, I sometimes make people mad because I don't always know "correct" ways to say stuff. Or sometimes I put words together in a bad way that really piss people off without realizing I'm doing anything wrong.

I am not saying this is the case with Gorgi's comment, but, it looks similar to the mistake I make when I'm speaking my 2nd or 3rd language. Maybe Gorgi doesn't realize the phrases "be quiet" or "cut it out" would be a nicer way to say it.

I also know we have a lot of fig fans here that do not use English as their primary language, so they either consult a babelfish/translator for communicating here OR they use whatever words "seem" correct" without knowing it is not the "proper" way another one of us might communicate.

I do not believe for one minute that Gorgi is telling you and everyone to "shut up" as though he's scolding you. I don't think anyone here - including you and me - are rude enough to blatantly say "shut up" instead of "be quiet", so I take it that this is a language/wording problem.

I've had GW/FF pull my posts for reasons that I feel are silly, so I hear what you're saying.

I guess what I'm saying is, "please be reasonable".


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Cecil,

This is not the first time that George has told me to shut up. That is one of the nicest and cleanest jabs that he has ever taken at me. He has told me many times to "shut up", "get lost", and to do some other things that I will not repeat here. What's funny is that he continues to read all my posts and quotes information that I have written on the forums. I find that very amusing......up to a point. The beauty about this forum, is that he cannot modify or delete what is written here.

Radovan,

True scientist do not have any problems whatsoever in defending their work. For the record, I am a scientist with dual degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics, and a near minor in Physics. That book learning does not mean a darn thing unless you can apply it in a practical situation to solving problems or improving processes and methods. Since my retirement after working for 34 years in a major Industrial facility, I have put my knowledge and experience to use in my fig hobby. I have developed several chemical formulations to deal with mold and improve rooting. Fortunately none of those proprietary chemical formulations are needed when using the Improved Baggie Method. I also have been working diligently on propagation methods and techniques that I can assure you, those horticulturist out there have never used. Just read how Al tries to diminish my reference to an "Improved Baggie Method". He laughs at my laying claim to any improvements to an existing method. I in turn laugh at him because he has no idea what my experience and knowledge of Chemistry and especially Physical Chemistry can do to improve a rooting method.

Most scientist welcome a good challenge...yet Al shrinks away from a good MEASURABLE one. The results of the challenge that I offered can be judged by all of the forum members and not by Al or myself who may be prejudice. And all of the forum members could benefit by the sharing of results and information. What could be better and more fair than that?? In one of Al's earlier posts in this thread you can read just under his name signature that he "Specializes in stamping out misinformation..." He directed that comment directly at me. Ask yourself why does he feel the need to "stamp out" or discredit the information that I posted way at the beginning of this thread where I reported the great merits of "UPM" just like Jose did??? And why is it "misinformation" in the first place? I offered a direct challenge to him, yet he prefers to argue what the meaning of "is" is. He pontificates further, stating that he and a million other horticulturists out there agree and they have already decided what is the best fig cutting rooting mix.......and the debate/discussion is over. hhmmmm......Sounds very much like another Al that I know........political scientist Al Gore.

Look again at the typical strong fig root system that develops using a UPM/perlite rooting mix in your rooting cups. Ask yourself does this information deserve to be "stamped out" or labeled as "misinformation"?? Al CLAIMS that his rooting mix is better than this UPM mix for rooting figs.....can anybody post pictures so we can verify that at least the root mass looks similar to these??? I BELIEVE that fig roots need nutrients in the rooting mix to get to this point (see picture in link below)......Al ASSERTS they do not. Can anybody offer any proof to support his claim? The challenge that I made would provide the necessary proof; but, Al says he won't dance to my tune and is still waiting for me to tell him what the meaning of "superior" or "strong" really "is". If I give him any definition whatsoever, I can assure you that it won't be good, clear, or precise enough for him. It's just a game and a delay tactic used by many theorist and intellectuals when their beliefs are challenged. I know because I have dealt with many of these types in my former career......especially the PhD types I have worked with in R&D. I gave Al a very specific documented example of what rooting success one can have using UPM/perlite (between 100 and 233% in producing viable trees) following the Improved Baggie Method and that too does not carry any weight with his "beliefs". Give me a figgy break.......

Dan
No fear, No retreat, Peace..........Semper Fi

Here is a link that might be useful: Monster roots using UPM/Perlite rooting mix


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

If this can be considered an exchange of ideas, then a gun battle could be called an exchange of pleasantries!

As Ottawan mentioned already Tapla is talking about rooting and Dan about growing on. And even if it were the same subject, why a challenge to compare them? Challenge??

Dan, I agree that the beauty of the GW forum is that it can't be modified or deleted. I didn't always think that way - I appreciated the freedom the F4F forum gave us to correct mistakes with the edit function. But I didn't anticipate a wanton act of destruction - your deletion of all your posts. It was extremely disturbing.
Jon allows each poster control over his words. They are his after all - but I think more is involved. The term thread is apt. A thread is started and each following poster picks it up and weaves with it - the result is a fabric - a whole that is more than its individual posts. Complete deletion of an individual's posts leaves the fabric in shreds. How can sharing of results and information be accomplished if the results and information are gone? The answer is - it can't. So, this isn't about sharing or helping or better methods.

More than one person on this thread has asked for this verbal assault to stop - it's time to listen.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I would rather let my cuttings rot than root if my chances have to improve by seeing feelings hurt the way I see it here in these posts. People have sometimes thrown branches to a side for later clearing and found that some have rooted anyway under funny conditions. Of course we come here to learn about better improved methods, try all if possible and then do it our own way anyway which may be a combination of umpteen different methods because that is the way it works for us with the amount of bothering we want to put into it. We don't want to see this fun be spoiled by hurt feelings of anyone here.
We know the intentions and effects of every composition of sentences that we come up with. If it is to cause hurt feeling to others then it is not good at all on the part of anyone of us.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I'm sorry that I'm not that great with words, but it sure would be nice to see an end to these pissing matches. It is really becoming a joke and I'm sure many feel the same way. It's a New Year so a good time for some resolutions, showing respect to others and not pointing fingers would be a great start.
Sal


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 2, 10 at 23:11

I'm really trying, guys. If you look upthread, you'll see that I stopped posting quite a while ago when it became clear there was no chance of remaining on topic and the discussion was all heat - no light. It's not normally how I operate, so I offer my apologies to the forum for engaging.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and that there is no ill will carried over to other threads.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

Al, myself and two other folks I've spoken with privately have found your posts very helpful, introducing a new possible rooting method to try. I setup several 50/50 Turface/SM cups with some cuttings 3-4 days ago just to see what kind of results I have.

I think the general consensus is, your level-headedness and willingness to explain and answer questions is greatly appreciated by most.

Dan,

You have a ton of positive information to help others with possible methods, same way that Al has. I surely hope that you can read everything Fignut wrote above with an open mind, because this is how 99% of the fig community feels about the deletion of your posts and information, and I couldn't have written it better myself (it's 110% how I feel, though). When you enter in arguments and practice behavior such as deleting useful information, understand that to some, this makes you look like the bad guy. This actually may be what you want, but I doubt it, because you seem like a genuinely good guy.

Just sayin', guys.

Happy 2010


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

oh, nothing wrong with anyone, let guys have fun, everyone has their own method anyway.
Example; I have the most primitive rooting soil mix and i am still successful in fig rooting and as you can see I can't write in english but I can root figs:-)

***** and if someone doesn't like someone/something just skip the paragraph, and I want everyone to be happy for January 7th.


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 3, 10 at 11:03

I agree, and I'll keep my comments generic. Figs are soo genetically vigorous that they root very quickly in almost anything, though some methods do promote more rapid rooting and the medium chosen can have a considerable affect on deciding whether the cutting rots or not.

Any time we start a cutting, we are in a race against rot organisms. The plant needs to form roots and establish a hydraulic connection with the already established vascular system of the cutting so the top of the cutting/plant gets hydrated before rot organisms 'plug up the plumbing' and destroy tissues essential to that connection. To help insure you win the race, sterile media is best for cuttings - media you can be reasonably sure is free from damping off diseases & others that impact rooting in negative ways.

To be fair, we also need to consider that part of that race involves establishing roots to keep the cutting hydrated and viable before the cutting's moisture reserves are depleted.

I never said you can't be successful with a variety of methods - I use a wide variety of propagation techniques, and choose the technique I think will be most successful based on things like, type of material, time of year, state of vitality of the parent material, condition of the cutting, known ease or difficulty of rooting the material, how energetic or how much I'm pressed for time, how I'm feeling on that particular day, my experience .....

Since figs root so readily and quickly, HOW we go about the chore is not as important as it is in more hard to root species. Where you really get to compare the results of one method over another is in species that commonly take up 6-9 months to root - juniper, as an example. In some species only a very narrow set of parameters is capable of producing roots on cuttings. Fortunately, this isn't true of figs. The harder to root species, especially for the hobbyist, need every advantage we can offer them. It also makes good sense that those who haven't mastered the technique of rooting even easy woody material, like figs, would also want to avail themselves of every advantage their reading/research turns up.

In all cases, I wish those who have been successful, continued success, and those yet to try propagating from cuttings, success on the first attempt. I always hope that at least some part of what I've offered is something that can help ensure that success in some way.

Al


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

I don't know how everybody else roots (or try to root) Fig cuttings, But I take a little technique from here and a little from there, and then mix all that up and come up with a "Dukes mixture (In my case it is a Davis mixture) It has worked pretty well for me, I have mixed a little of Al, Jon, Dan etc,etc, etc.....and Low & behold I get lucky (we are still talking about figs here)
So I say thanks to all.
Cecil


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RE: using pure vermiculite for rooting

"Rooting" fig cuttings (which to me means the entire process of turning sticks into trees that are ready to be planted) is NOT a science as it is practiced by most people, it is just an art and as such results can vary greatly. It is helpful to recognize that there are several stages of the rooting process and what one does during each of these stages can and will have an affect on the final outcome. The application of real scientific principles at each of these stages can and will greatly improve the process and make the end results much more predictable. The Improved Baggie Method applies good science through very simple practical techniques to each of these stages, thereby making the end results much more predictable.....i.e. reliably attaining a very high success rate as measured by trees ready to be planted in the ground. It is the sum total of each of the stages that can affect the other stages and the final success rate. It is grossly unfair to single out any individual step during the rooting process as HARMFUL without a full understanding of each step's contribution to the final outcome. To me gauging the superiority of a UPM mix (or whatever rooting mix for that matter) should only be viewed in context with the final outcome and success rate. I will state emphatically that a UPM/perlite mix as stipulated in the Improved Baggie method will produce excellent results of turning sticks into trees at a very high success rate. Those that exactly follow that method should get predictably good results. The only way to prove this to some who harbor very strong opinions to the contrary is with a direct challenge. That is why I offered a challenge.

The proper cleaning of cuttings by the use of two known phytotoxics (caustic soap and oxidative Clorox)can and will GREATLY impact the end result of turning sticks into trees. Some claim that phyotoxins are harmful to the rooting of figs ......I (and others) have lots of experience that say they are not harmful. The cleaning of fig cuttings by these two phytotoxins can and will significantly improve the rooting success rate of almost any fig rooting method. Chemical cleaning by these two phtotoxins is an improvement to the baggie method.

The type of environment that one chooses for the cutting can and will GREATLY impact the end result of turning sticks into trees. Some claim that a sterile rooting mix is the best rooting medium........well that ignores the importance of nutrients in good root/bud growth during the rooting process. The Improved Baggie Method uses a non-sterile, nutrient containing rooting mix and yields a very high success rate of turning sticks into trees. Again, the only way to prove this to some who harbor very strong opinions to the contrary is with a direct challenge.

Regarding the deletion of my material on the other fig forum. Yes, I willingly shared a lot of really good fig specific information that I developed in my research activities. Some people seemed to appreciate that information while others chose to verbally attack me. One particular individual used words and phrases that cannot be written here. I'll not get into all of the other details of why I chose to leave and delete what I did. There is lot more to the story than most people will ever know. Given the same circumstances I would do it again.

Parris Island training created a bad guy in me that I am able to keep contained and controled most of the time........my apologies to those offended.

Dan
Specializing in the LSU bred figs..........


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