Planting Back - giving as opposed to just taking


Hi everyone! What are your summer time plans and strategies for planting back? Do you have favorite “quick and easy” methods to recommend for folks out foraging? I’d love to explore some “entry level” propagation ideas that are beginner friendly and that anyone can do while out and about this summer. I feel so deeply that we rewilders have to shift our community awareness from “taking” to reciprocity… what are your thoughts??? :sun_with_face:


How about increasing seed awareness? Gathering seed for fire starters is a great way to bring awareness to different kinds of seeds and therewith also an entry point to other propagating strategies.
Children will love blowing dandelion seed heads (make a wish when you need only one try) and others in the same family. Other cool ones are seeds with pods that spring open on touch. Can they tell by looking at the pod whether it will or not?


another idea for planting back… anyone have experience or thoughts about this? :sun_with_face: Gorilla Mycology and fungal wildcrafting


While i cringed at the comments relating to deliberately spreading invasive species, i think if we focus on native species this is pretty awesome… anyone done this? :sun_with_face: Guerrilla Gardening & Midnight Gardeners


This week i begin my focus on Red huckleberry Vaccinium parvifolium, and Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus. My plan is to gather some berries for eating, and an equal amount for seed dispersal & propagation.
I’d like to hear others’ experiences, knowledge, and ideas about propagating with berries - something we can do all summer long with our various native species.
Seems like this could be a fun and easy way for kids and anyone at any skill level to participate in planting back. What are your thoughts? How will you go about it? :sun_with_face:


Around here, I find that our European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) appears to be spread by birds a lot; I find seedlings in our vegetable garden and in other places where we definitely didn’t have or want them.
This made me wonder if your blackberry (and perhaps also the red huckleberry?) like fertile soil to sprout. If so, what if you ate them all and pooed the seeds in different places the next day? In my mind’s eye I saw this group of kids having adventures all day, not going home until they all had to go…


yes, i was imagining scattering berries in different (suitable) areas for birds & others to eat and distribute… I want to go the easy / quick / natural route as much as i can - not too excited about propagating into containers and tending starts for ages before planting out - I’m going to reserve that for special cases and cuttings which can be planted out sooner than starts grown from seeds. love the kids pooing berry seeds image - that made me laugh - great lesson for an outdoor experience though :smiley:


Growing certain berries from cuttings is super easy. It has to be during the right season, though. Thimbleberries, trailing blackberries, and blackcap raspberries are the easiest, in my experience. Red huckleberry has been difficult for me. I don’t think they transplant well. They also seem to require downed wood to seed into. Let us know how it goes!


SeanPrive, or anyone else, any suggestions on how/when to set out wapato seedlings? I have quite a few, just wondering if it’s a bad time of year to put them out.


You actually grew them from seeds? From what I understand, it takes two winters to germinate the seeds, correct? I’ve only transplanted the tubers, which happens during fall/winter - I think I’ve done it in November. One time I tried to transplant entire plants, but the area I put them in was too dry, so I’m not sure what exactly killed them. It would be my guess that they wouldn’t experience transplant shock as much as other plants as long as they are in water through the summer.


I’m not sure. My landmate grew them and asked me how to plant them out. She has a bunch already from tubers, and a flat in some standing water of seedlings.

Yeah, I’ll just plant them out with her and see how it goes. Pretty excited for them to spread like crazy.


Anyone tried propagating Devil’s Club (Oplopanax
horridus; Araliaceae) from seed? Did you direct sow or start in containers? How did it work out? Thanks :sun_with_face:


Anyone have experience using native Cattails in PNW wetland restoration? They seem to be such a beneficial component of the landscape but I keep seeing warnings that they are quite aggressive - thoughts??? thanks :sun_with_face:


Never grown Devil’s club. I think it can be grown from root cuttings fairly easily. I’m all about the cattails. I think if they’re aggressive, then they are probably in the right spot. A lot of those emergent wetland plants can form monocultures given the right water depth. Tule, wapato, Nuphar, cattails… They all seem to do that. The eastern US is dealing with ultra-aggressive hybrids, but I don’t think we have that in the NW. It should be easy to propagate cattails by rhizome cuttings as well.


Anyone have experience with propagating native ferns from spores? Looking for simple and natural methods - not a science project :smile:


Currently bouncing back and forth between houses in southern Illinois, helping out the family since my brother had his baby, gonna start a wild garden in my mother-in-law’s backyard. I’m not for removing invasive species though. They’ve been here awhile, they fill a niche now, and there simply is no eliminating them all without damaging the ecosystem they’ve become a part of. Nature is ever-changing; what was native back in the old days simply isn’t now, and there’s no returning back to that state. Every native species may have been “invasive” at first.

I believe in dropping some seeds and letting natural selection take its course. She knows what she’s doing more than we do, and a natural system will tend toward balance. The only invasive species is humanity. As far as planting back goes, the most I do is remove manmade litter from the wilder parts in town, perhaps helping to spread the seeds of nearby plants. “Native” or “invasive”. It isn’t up to me to decide who dies, and certain plants wouldn’t live together if they weren’t meant to. My “garden” is simply a plot of land guarded from the mower for plants to grow free and wild.

Of course I will have a “proper” garden when we get back out to the Ozarks, not in neat little rows or anything but given a lot more aid to survive. Exotics like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, watermelons, certain grains and pulses…At least until/unless I can find adequate local substitutes for the crops I’ve been spoiled on. Grains could be replaced by other grasses, but I can’t find any edible legumes nearby besides clover. Love to find some honey locust nearby. Tomatoes, chili peppers, and bell peppers are the hardest to find good substitutes, and I want my damn spaghetti sauce. I’d love to garden as little as possible because it’s kinda mean to grow people just to eat.

But right now I’m not even concerned with foraging. I have a little trail snack every now and then, but I always leave more than I take. Gotta just let things grow and move all this human trash out of the way. There’s plenty of wild flora to feed my little family, but not nearly enough for any kind of ecosystem. This is a poor dirty decrepit mill town. Signs and rumors of coyotes and deer off the bike trail though; I haven’t seen any yet, but I don’t doubt it. So my main goal right now is just helping to spread as much foliage as I can.


just started a new post about rewilded native plant propagation, and hope you will all join in the conversation! Rewilded Native Plant & Fungi Propagation


The Bradley Method


Hey Tracie! I’m a forest steward in Seattle & one of my pet projects now is restoring a wetland on the west side. Feel free to contact me through my facebook page


Hello, and thanks for your post! So nice to connect with someone interested in this subject. I’m taking a little vacation from FB right now, but just popped over there to send you a quick friend request so we can get in touch easily. (i’m tracie moon over there as well). really looking forward to communicating with you, so many thoughts and questions about wetlands in particular - to be honest i have hit a bit of a burnout stage and could use some encouragement! will elaborate later. thanks again, look forward to chatting :smiley: