Monday, 15 October 2012

Cuttings

Thursday 11th
Weather: Cold, wintry feeling in the morning. Low lying mist, cloudy. Showers intermittently with the odd outbreak of sun.





I went round with Siew Lee & Fergus today to scout around the garden to see what cuttings we could do for the garden & the nursery before the first frost came in and the frenzy that would ensue afterwards. 

I took nodal cuttings from Tagetes lemonii and Hedera algeriensis 'Gloire de Marengo'. We used an approximate 5" terracotta pot. Cleaned it out, filled it up with an inch of grit, then to the top with a special cutting compost of:

1 part loam
2 parts peat
3 parts grit

A mix that doesn't have much nutrients in it, with the mind that cuttings would be potted on as soon as they had rooted.

We made sure it was moist enough and when it was full we gently tamped it down twice so that the soil would settle, but not so much so that the compost would be too compacted. We labelled the pot first with the name of the plant, and started around the edge with an approximate inch gap between each cutting (these will have the best chance of taking). Then we filled in the middle as close together as possible but not too squished up, so that plants still had room to breathe. The shorter cuttings would go around the edge and the taller ones in the middle. After that we would water them in & put them on the heated bench.

For the cuttings themselves - we always made sure they were the right way up, always with a node at the bottom and at least an inch length of material if possible. We would cut off any excess leaves except for two at the top, so that the plant can photosynthesise but not stress too much. Any really big leaves we would cut into two. It is possible to do the Hedera as internodal cuttings as well. We used a thin dibber to place plant into the soil, making sure that the cutting touched the bottom & it wasn't just air surrounding it.

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