Propagating Mint & Experimenting with Summer Celery
Village Farm Team,
Over the past few months, our planter box of leeks has also been home to a volunteer mint plant. Since we knew we would eventually be harvesting all of the leeks, we decided to take cuttings from our volunteer mint in order to propagate it in the greenhouse. Propagating plants from cuttings is a way to grow them without seeds. In order to propagate our mint, we took cuttings from the top growth. Next, we removed the lower leaves in order to expose the leaf nodes. The leaf nodes are the point on the stem where the leaf emerges but they are also what will develop roots when submerged in water. Once our cuttings developed a sufficient root structure, we were able to transplant them next to our volunteer mint plant. So, despite harvesting the last of our leeks last week, we were able to fill the box with mint!
Farming is sometimes an experiment in seeing how best we can grow non-native varieties in our often unpredictable climate. Several weeks back we transplanted Tango celery into one of our planter boxes. Celery is a fall crop in our area but we wanted to experiment with the heat-tolerant Tango variety to see how it would do in the summer. It appears the near 100-degree temperatures last week did not seem to agree with it. We’ll be monitoring it this week to see if it is able to eventually adjust to the summer heat. If not, we’ll be taking notes and removing it in order to make way for perennial herbs.
We’ve experienced a couple of significant rains over the past month. Though our tomatoes are still going strong for the most part, some of the varieties split after the most recent rainfall last week. Splitting occurs when tomatoes receive a large amount of water very quickly. The fruits fill with water which eventually causes the skin to split open. Though we can’t harvest and eat these fruits, we will be able to use them on Saturday for the tomato toss at our annual La Tomatina Padre event!
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West