Planting Basketry Willow: Useful Plants at Mountain Jewel

in homesteading •  2 months ago  (edited)


Today Ini and I planted the willow I bought from Dunbar Gardens. I first heard about this excellent seller of basketry and other willow cuttings from @schoonercreek last spring! They have a LOT of varieties!! After making a couple baskets over the winter, I was inspired to buy some cuttings to tend my very own copse!

Willow, as you can see above by the little rootlets already coming off of this cutting, is a very easy plant to root!

In fact it contains its own rooting hormone that people use to help root other plants. You can do this by putting a cutting of willow in water, infusing the water with this beneficial attribute. Then you can stick your plant of choice into the water and find that it roots faster.

This has long given willow the associated powers of regeneration and nearly magical levels of growth.


Today was 80 degrees in the Ozarks! We went down into The Orchard and planned where we could plant this row of willow. I decided right between the paw paws, apples, and pears would be a great location. The Orchard is so lush with spring growth right now- it makes me swoon.

This is the best soil at Mountain Jewel & we haven’t even done any amending!

There was a walnut that lived here and Ini cut it down. Luckily willow is one of the few species that don’t mind the juglones, inhibitory elements in the essence of walnuts that exude from the branches, roots, bark and nuts! It has inhibited anything much from growing beneath its canopy, but willow should do fine!


We also walked the house site today, which is within the Orchard, and will share a vid soon! So happy to view these beautiful plants from our future home!


Let’s get planting!

First we measured the area. Dunbar Gardens recommends 6 inch spacing with 32 inch rows. We did one row using all 4 varieties.

From Dunbar Gardens


Of course Goumi came to visit. The cats follow us around & help us in our tasks.

This soil didn’t have too many rocks in it! Ini was able to take the crow bar and make a hole in the ground with it basically without resistance! What a relief!

We also make sure to label and flag each of the varieties! We don’t want it getting stepped on or forgetting what it is!

The planting went quickly! And I feel so much joy in having this in the ground. After the first year, I’ll cut it down to the ground and that way it will grow straight and long whips I can easily weave with! So so excited!!! This area is so beautiful and will only grow in beauty with all of this diversity.


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So great! I am always amazed at how easily willow can grow. I'm getting into basket weaving and would love to weave with some willow. So far I've only used vines, brambles, soft coils and pine needles.

Planting your own source of weaving materials to tend to and keep harvesting is so sweet, and maybe you can use the willow rooting hormone to help out some of your other plants!


Thanks! Me too; it’s such a stellar plant! I’m excited to grow along with it. Awesome you’ve been weaving with other materials! I think they all go so well hand in hand with each other.

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This post has been manually curated, resteemed
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Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


Awesome! I didn’t know that about willow being a good rooting booster. I can’t wait to see how these little babies grow! Cheers! ❤️-Serena
Manually curated by @paintingangels.


Mmmmm chocolate cupcacke 😍


Thanks @helpiecake, you’re really sweet 🍰🎂🧁

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Your efforts is great, friend ... by planting trees, you have greened our earth. I really appreciate you.


Thanks for saying so. I love taking part in greening our beautiful earth 💚🌿🌈

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Let there be more BASKETS in the world - less plastic. I love that you're planning and planting ahead. Gorgeous. The close up of the little rootlets is amazing. Do you MAKE baskets? Or planning to gift or sell the willow to local basket makes in due course? Personally I think willows are useful simply by their BEAUTY and the way they always lift my spirits.


Yes yes yes!!! I have made 2 baskets to date- both this last winter! I really enjoyed the act!!! So much so that I decided to go ahead and plant this copse!!! I plan to make baskets to sell, sell willow cuttings - not sure if I will also sell willow material for others to make baskets, maybe if I don’t use it all! 😂
I agree with you- willow is super special. I feel enlivened to partner with it!

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How wonderful and useful! What an oasis you are creating!! I am looking forward to hearing more about your future home. Thanks for sharing your journey. Those willow sprigs look so so healthy.

A few more questions, about nettle -- do you think the nettle will survive the one month transit time? I don't want it to needlessly suffer if i order it. I was also thinking i could try to find some wild nettle and dig up a root and try it in a pot. Might be fun to do one of each if you feel confident it could tolerate a month in shipping.


Thanks dear!! Shared a post today about choosing the location to face South!

I was thinking about how I would ship the nettle to you if you were to order it. I would recommend with a live plant shipping it to your Mom’s. I wouldn’t want to risk it sitting in customs again! Who knows why it takes so long to get over the border...

Would definitely suggest transplanting a wild specimen for your use!! That’s a great idea.

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That is going to be a nice grove of willow for you. You are assured of many years of basketweaving ahead of you. Fun!


Thanks!! 😁 yeah I’m pretty stoked on it! Super fun!

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It's exciting to have your own willow grove! I was able to get out in the gardens yesterday and do some clearing, prepping for moving plants. We had 60's. :))

I have used the neighbor's willow to make rooting liquid, when I started the bay laurels.


I’m pretty excited! I visited them today and already noticed some nice leaf buds ! Incredible powers of growth on these babes. Awesome hear you got some great weather!! Woop woop! Cool to hear about your use of the rooting hormone!!

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You've been visited by @thistle-rock from Homesteaders Co-op.

I am not sure of the variety of willow that grows around our parts, but they grow wild and well around the swampy areas and benefit from being cut back.... I have cut them to make willow furniture which I find to be a wonderful craft and hobby too. I have yet to make baskets, perhaps one day.

Thanks for sharing your process.

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yay! willow! love it.