Plant propagation: Part 2

Notes from Urban Veggie Gardening Workshop # 4

While most of our vegetables result from planting seeds, there are other ways that plants can be propagated. This is a huge topic so will learn provide a few examples here related to some of the plants we actually grow.

Starting from a tuber

Sweet potato (Kumera) can be started from a tuber. You just buy one, and keep it in moist soil until little shoots appear. Will grow some green leaves above, and some roots below, and the tuber can then be transferred to a main garden bed.


Sweet potato also provides an example of how you can propagate through layering. As the stems grow longer they can be brought down into the soil. It can be useful to pin the thin pliable stem into the ground and then cover it over with soil. If it is kept moist, this stem will generate roots below and shoots above. The roots themselves will form tubers which we can later eat.

Starting from a bulb

Garlic is a bulb. Like tulips, daffodils and other bulbs you simply take a corm and plant it.

Starting from root cuttings

Mint creates dense fibrous roots. As the plants are dormant in the winter these roots fill up the pot. In early spring you will find your mint is pot bound, so you need to wet it and tip it out, and pull the roots apart. By dividing up the roots you can generate two or three plants in the place of one. All you need to do is trim off dead leaves and roots, and ensure that each route is connected to a live leaf that is held up above the ground when you fill your pot with new soil. Mint is quite invasive so it needs to be kept in separate pots or in a separate bed.