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Tim Engbrecht 's Profile
Tim Engbrecht
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Joined:
12/07/2014
Last Updated:
27/07/2014
Location:
Kelwood, Canada
Climate Zone:
Cold Temperate
Gender:
Male





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Parkland Permaculture

Parkland Permaculture

Kelwood, CA


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Fountain Family Pharm: A Permaculture Orchard in the Northern Boreal Forest The Ness Creek Forest Garden
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Goji berry propagation

Posted by Tim Engbrecht over 6 years ago

A few years ago, I started some goji berries ("wolfberry") from seed, with quite a bit of success, so I thought I'd document the process here.

In general, I'm in favour of starting plants from seed when it is practical to do so.  The genetic variability resulting from this approach may not yield plants with entirely predictable traits, but too much vegetative propagation by cuttings creates cloned offspring which is at odds with a permaculture approach to increasing diversity and resilience. 

For a seed source, I bought a handfull of dried goji from a local bulk food provider for less than a dollar.  Soaking the dried berries in warm water for a few hours makes the seeds very easy to extract into a bowl of water.  The seeds are VERY SMALL. I keep only seed that sinks, and it seems as though germination rates are very near 100%.

Based on my own research and experience, the biggest problem that home growers encounter with goji starts is from not providing containers that are DEEP ENOUGH.  The plants appear to drive a long taproot straight down, and IF the taproot reaches the bottom of the container, the plant effectively stops growing. 

Since I wanted to create a large NURSERY STOCK of viable plants this year, I decided to plant into individual newspaper "pots" that I made so that I can easily transplant them come spring without shocking them too much.  Another benefit of planting from seed is that I probably have between 300-500 seedlings already, and I'm okay if I lose some of the less hardy ones when I "plant out"... In theory, the survivors will have locally desirable traits, too.

Germination took between 6-9 days in my south-facing window here in central Manitoba. (Planted February 26th, began to emerge March 4th) In a week-or-so, I will thin the plants down to one per "pot", and will attempt to transplant the ones I thin out into another flat--likely for trading with other growers.

Here are some pictures of the process so far... I will update in later in the year to track how transplanting goes.

-Tim

Appx 500 goji seeds Paper pot and cedar grow bed Lining the grow bed Germination in 6 9 days 500 new goji plants prior to thinning

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Tim Engbrecht has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate

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