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Organic Cuttings & Scions at Cloverfield

Every winter the deciduous fruiting shrubs and trees at Cloverfield Organic Farm drop their leaves and go into dormancy. This is the time to do our winter pruning and harvesting of cuttings and scions. The cuttings and scions are used for propagating new plants of desired fruiting woody shrubs and trees.

Starting your own home orchard or vineyard is most affordable when you propagate your own trees and shrubs from cuttings or scions. We have a diverse selection and they are very affordable. We have six varieties of grapes, 3 varieties of elderberries, at least four varieties of pomegranate, 3 varieties of figs, and many fruit trees and other fruiting shrubs.

We can help you cut the scions or cuttings off of the trees and shrubs we haven't pruned yet. Others will be available in marked pots with loose soil mix and you just pick the cuttings you want to purchase and grow.

Each scion or cutting is between 6 to 12 inches in length and has at least two strong nodes with healthy buds. The bottom node with buds is for sending out roots, and the top node with buds is for growing the vegetative shoot (leaves and new growth). The scions will also have at least two nodes with healthy buds and are suitable for grafting or rooting.

Many Varieties of Grapes

Cuttings and scions are best potted up or grafted as soon as they arrive, but they can be kept refrigerated for a few weeks in a plastic bag with a moist towel wrapped around them. Dormant cuttings can be rooted directly into a loose soil mix. We use (and we also sell) our loose Cloverfield Soil Mix containing a mix of organic OMRI compost, composted wood chips, vermiculite, and a bit of our "Magic Mix" fertilizer.  The loose soil mix should be completely moistened with water before using, as dry compost can be hard to hydrate in a pot. The base of each cutting should be trimmed close to the bottom node of the cutting's stem. To root the cuttings, push each cutting deep into your loose soil mix to where only one or two nodes with buds are above the surface.. Most woody cuttings root easily on their own, but can benefit if treated with a rooting hormone.We sometimes dip the bottom cut surface of each cutting in kelp meal. A commercial rooting hormone can also work, but these synthetic hormones are not approved for organic growing. Since most cuttings will grow out leaves before they grow roots they should be placed in an environment where the new top growth will be kept humid enough to not dry out until the roots emerge. A greenhouse with shade cloth is excellent for many plants, though an outside space with either shade cloth or part shade from deciduous trees can work fine for hardier plants. When weather gets warmer and dry be sure to water the top growth regularly and keep the loose soil mix hydrated.  When it is cold in early spring, only water by hand when necessary as cuttings can rot if kept overly wet. Once they have sprouted roots they can be gently fertilized to spur good growth. Pot up the rooted cuttings into larger containers filled with quality potting soil once they have a solid well established root system. In a few weeks after that, they will be hardy enough to be planted in their permanent spot in soil in your garden.

Three Varieties of Elderberries

Cuttings can also be purchased online and we will ship them to you or hold them for pickup:

Elderberries Start Rooting in Just a Glass of Water!

Cloverfield Organic Farm is located at 501 La Paloma Rd., El Sobrante, CA. Our open hours for u-picking and touring the farm are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 11-4 until the time changes in March; then the hours will shift to noon to five.

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