Monday, 30 November 2015

Party reminder and willow rooting solution

Next Sunday, 6th December, it's party time at the Empty Common Community Garden. 

Our Charlotte will be giving a much anticipated talk on Peak Soil & Permaculture at 12.30.

From 1.30 we have the Serendipity Sessions including 'Yarn Spinner' Mal Faloon sharing a tale or two and the fantastic works of Kate Swindlehurst, former Writer in Residence at Cambridge Botanic Gardens, Clare Crossman and Elaine Ewart.

We'll be having an Acoustic Open Air Mic, from about 3pm so if you play anything, or have something you would like to share, please feel welcome to do so and we'll make a session of it!

Last but not least, there will be a cosy fire and mulled (non alcoholic) apple juice.

Throughout the afternoon, you can admire some polytunnel art and a collage of the Garden's progression made by volunteer Mary!

This event is suitable for all ages. Wrap up warm and wear wellies/suitable footwear. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Willow rooting solution -  a tonic for growing plants

It’s time to take some cuttings at Empty Common Community Garden and to make some of Charlotte’s home-made rooting solution.

What it does
The way that it works can be attributed to two substances that can be found within the Salix
(Willow) species, namely, indolebutyric acid (IBA) and Salicylic acid (SA). When you make willow
water, both salicylic acid and IBA leach into the water, and both have a beneficial effect when used
for the propagation of cuttings.

Indolebutyric acid (IBA) is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth. Salicylic acid (SA) - which is a chemical similar to the headache medicine Aspirin - is a plant hormone that also helps plants to fight off infection.

To make the rooting solution, just cut lengths of new willow growth from any type of willow, these should be about the diameter of a pencil. Pop them into a jar and pour over boiling water. Leave for 24-48 hours, then remove the willow. The solution can be kept in the fridge for a month or more.

When planting cuttings just dip the end in the water for several seconds or longer if it’s easy before
planting. You could also make a big batch in a bucket for watering in newly transplanted plants. We have lots of willow around our garden, other than our lovely coloured willow hedge, which is growing so well. Maybe we can try making some large batches in the spring next year, when we have lots of young plants to plant out.

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