Goji Baby Update

Posted on May 14, 2013. Filed under: Health, Plants | Tags: , , , , |

Plants - Goji

So, you know how everyone is discovering superfoods lately?  And they are very expensive?!  I decided to grow my own after looking into goji berry production.  I soaked the berries for 24 hours, opened them up, and scooped out the seeds.  See my post about this.  About a month ago they sprouted and it took all this while to get second leaves on some of them, but I figured I’d separate them into some individual containers to see if I could get them past seedling stage.

When thinning seedlings that have come up in a bunch, get your work area ready.  It’s going to be a mess, so a plastic lid from a big container helps to, well, keep everything contained.  Having some little pots ready is good too.  These here are recycled fiber that will go directly into the ground or a bigger pot later causing no root shock because the roots will eventually grow right through them.  You can buy these pretty cheaply or else make them out of newspaper.  There are lots of websites that show you how to do it for free.  Anyway, fill whatever pots you are using 1/2 full with good soil, either purchased or mixed with some good garden compost from last year.  Also have a bigger container filled with the soil and a cup for dispensing it.  Have a knife and water in something that comes out in a little flow so it’s easy on the little plants.

Then use the knife to gently separate and pull out a clump of the seedlings.  Lay it down and try to tease out the biggest specimens with as little handling as possible.  If you break any stems, discard and try another, the repair time if it survives won’t be worth it.  Breaking some roots is okay, but the seedling must at least have some roots.  Then place in the middle of a pot and, using the little cup with soil in it from the bigger container, sprinkle soil all around the stem and pat down gently.  Try not to fill to the top otherwise the water will just run off, you want it to soak down into it.

Water and then water again because the pots are dry and will soak up some of the water.  You can also put water underneath them for sucking up which will happen after awhile.   My mistake was to put one flat of these outside right away.  When I checked later as the temperature had cooled quite a bit, they were all laying flat on the ground!  I brought them in and watered them again and this morning they are mostly perked up.  The others that stayed inside did fine.  Don’t forget they are tender babies who have just gone through quite a shock being pulled out of their first home, so going outside is additional stress to avoid at first.  It’s really warm outside right now, though, so I have them on the porch in the shade just getting used to a little natural light and air movement.  Even wind is stressful at first, so a little shelter of a porch or garage is very helpful.

This procedure works for any seedlings started in mass groups.  Usually I don’t even get much wilting.  Try growing your own goji berries if you like!

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