Sunday, 3 July 2016

szechuan pepper ( zanthoxylum) cuttings

According to Plants for the Future, Szechuan Pepper ( Zanthoxylum) trees can be propagated by seeds, semi-hardwood cuttings, and root cuttings.

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.

Plants for the Future is one of my favourite go-to sites these days.  There is so much exciting information there on unusual and useful plants.  

I have two Szechuan pepper trees I got about three years ago from eco-sense.  It looks like this year I will finally get a harvest.  I like eco-sense a great deal and I especially like how active they are in the community; however, their nursery products can be a bit pricey for someone with my sort of income. I really liked these trees, so I got a couple and now I'm trying to make more.  They grow lovely and tall and seem oblivious to the summer drought.  The leaves smell amazing and are quite successful at diminishing tooth ache.  

So of course, I want more of these trees.  L came over and helped prepare some soil (2 part sand, 4 parts garden soil, 4 parts llama berries, 1 part wood ash and small bits of charcoal from the smoker) then we cut some softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings from the pepper tree and voilà, we put them in the soil, watered them in, and with luck, there should be some new pepper trees this spring.

We did the same with the olive tree.

L took home kale, chard, green onions, raspberries, and that's about it.

Prepared some flats for seeding fall & winter veg.

6 of the meanest hens sold.  These are egg eaters and general trouble makers.  The flock is much calmer without them and we got a few extra eggs.  

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