Wednesday, April 02, 2014

It is that Easy

For years I looked at the one elderberry bush on the farm, thinking of the things I could make. It is at the end of our driveway, at the edge of a thick wood. It appears to be readily accessible. The first year year I tried to pick from it, I found that looks are deceiving.  What looks like a nice round bush just off the bank of the drive way is actually a quite tall bush that begins at the bottom of a steep 5 foot drop.

From the bottom, I couldn't reach the berries. From the top, the deer could reach all the berries that I could. By using a stick, I was able to pull some branches within reach, but that was a lot of work for little fruit.

Last year I decided to try propagating some bushes. The methods I read about seemed entirely too easy to be true, but I figured it was worth a try. Kellen and I went out in early spring when the buds were just beginning to form on the branches.  We cut branches about 6' long. The branches were relatively straight without many smaller branches coming off them.

We brought five branches back in the house. We planted three in a spot behind the house, and the other two next to one of the hog pastures. We literally stuck them in the ground, and then mulched them well with leaves. I did nothing else with them. I didn't even water them, but it was a wet summer, and the spots I planted are relatively moist areas.

Two of the five didn't make it because the dog dug them up. The remaining one behind the house, is hanging on, but I didn't mulch it well enough and the weeds crowded it. The two by the pig pen thrived. Much to my surprise, they bloomed last year (without producing fruit.)  They have grown and spread, and today this is what they look like:

One year ago these were sticks I pushed into the ground. Today they are small bushes whose leaves are just beginning to open up. If that wasn't the easiest propagation ever, I'd like to know what it is!

If all gardening was this easy. . . .


  1. Oooooh would LOVE to find a bush. I've had jelly made from the berries and it was great!!!!!

  2. Wow how cool is that!!! I've got an elderberry bush and harvested it for the first time last year. I found some wild elderberry last year in a spot down the road. I think I'll try this this year. I Like EASY:)