Erik’s geranium cuttings at four months old. (Erik Jacobsen photo)

Erik’s geranium cuttings at four months old. (Erik Jacobsen photo)

Summer geraniums almost ready for cuttings

Erik finds some time in the garden can take his mind off challenging affairs

My yellow raspberries are still setting blooms and producing berries, to my amazement. But again, “What is normal, except for the setting on a washing machine?”

I picked nearly three five-gallon buckets of fruit from the crabapple tree. I want to process them to either juice or apple sauce. Unfortunately, wide-mouth canning lids have not been available even to Prince George; I checked. Fresh apple juice will keep for one week in the refrigerator.

The Fall Fair has come and gone. And also the Telkwa BBQ and Telkwa’s ice cream parlour.

Maybe I sound a little bit down. For the last few weeks, I have been away from my garden and dealt with some family matters. It was brought to my attention again how fortunate I am to enjoy having a garden. It can take your mind off challenging affairs.

My hanging baskets with the trailing petunias did not like the rain, so maybe it is time to uproot them for the compost box and put the soil into the recycle bin. I visited some friends the other day and noticed their hanging basket, also with trailing petunia, was doing well under a cover.

For those of us who have enjoyed geraniums, it is soon the time to take the cuttings. Taking the cuttings is a straightforward task. It is what follows that is time-consuming.

Take several cuttings from each plant. Make the cut just above a leaf joint (node). The cutting should be about three inches long. Leave only two leaves on the top. When you are finished, take the cuttings inside and spread them out on a surface close to where the planting is going to be done. Leave them here for three days before planting.

In the meantime, buy some hormone powder for soft cuttings. I have been told honey also works. The best planter mix is half fine sand and half peat moss. After mixing, transfer the contents to a planter flat. Make sure you make the soil mix moist, not wet. On planting day, place the planting flat on the seeding heating mate (if you insert that flat into a solid flat, it makes the watering easier.)

Use something to make a hole big enough for cutting to slide into. Then take a cutting and dip the end in the hormone powder. Tap the cutting against the side to remove the excess powder and place it in the hole you just made. Then press the soil mix around the cutting.

The space between each cutting is two inches. It is most important to not let them dry out. After about three weeks, carefully lift one of the cuttings with the help of a small tool. Look for small white threads appearing at the bottom of the cutting. If none, wait another week and try again.

When you see some roots it is now time to transplant the cuttings into small pots using regular potting soil.

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, please email me at

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