I love mulberries. If you were following my Muesli Bar Challenge recipes this time last year, you’ll know why. Besides being a super-food, they’re one of the few berry fruits that grow well this far north and fill that berry-fruit spot in the seasonal fruit calendar.
Sadly for me, everything else around here likes mulberries too. I’ve been meaning for years now to try taking enough cuttings in spring to create a veritable forest of mulberries, to try beating the wildlife by growing more than they can eat. (This is not a strategy that has ever worked for me, but I’m ever the optimist!)
This year all the conditions have come together. The mulberry tree is just starting to bud up, it is cool and overcast and a roots and perennials planting day, we passed a willow tree on the way home and I gathered some willow cuttings for rooting hormones, and I have a nice batch of potting mix that is mostly creek sand ready to pot them in. Couldn’t get better conditions.
I’ve taken lots of finger thick cuttings, using a very sharp knife to cut at an angle just below a bud. I’ve dipped the bottom of the cuttings in a bucket in which I’ve been steeping the willow cuttings – willow is a rich source of rooting hormones. I’ve filled pots with a potting mix that is mostly creek sand with a bit of mowed old cow pats to hold moisture, poked holes with a stick (not the mulberry cuttings) and planted them with a couple of buds below ground.
With a bit of luck, I will hopefully have dozens of mulberry trees to plant out in a few months, and in a year or two maybe enough mulberries for us and the birds. I can dream!