Tag Archives: cuttings

Winter Cuttings

7 Jul

I took some cuttings tonight from Teucrium which I snaffled from a friends garden. This is such an easy way to get free plants. It’s the kind of thing I do without planning – you don’t need to know where you’ll put the plants when they’re big, otherwise you’ll never get round to doing it. The more you try, the more likely you are to have success. Plus it only takes 10 minutes. Teucrium is a really easy one to practise on in your kitchen. I also use this technique with great success on hydrangeas, lavenders, rosemary and lonicera.

  • Put some propagation mix in a container (I use seed-raising mix because I am lazy), and dampen.
  • Cut just below a nodule. This is the bit that goes into the soil. Depending on how long your original stem is, you may be able to get more than one cutting from each stem. My cuttings vary from 5-10cm in length.
  • Cut the soft wobbly top of the stem, and gently pull off the lower leaves.
  • With the secateurs, make a little wound at the base of the cutting. Dip this bit in rooting hormone or manuka honey and stick into the soil.
  • Put in a spot where the temperature is constant and mild. Keep the soil moist, or they die, which happens to me quite a bit.
  • Check out Yates for more cuttings info.

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Homemade Coldframe for Snuggly Plants

18 May

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I’d been wanting to make a coldframe for seeds, seedlings, and cuttings for some time. The benefits of making your own coldframe are:

  • You get to use tools and speak like a builder
  • You can start propogating things earlier and get them into the ground faster
  • You can upcycle stuff that would normally be dumped
  • You can grow plants for free (cuttings) with more success
  • You can grow more from seed, which is far more economical than buying baby plants

Our neighbour (who has an awning-making business) gave me loads of thick clear plastic offcuts the other day. It looks like the stuff that windows in those big 1970s family tents are made from. Perfect for keeping warmth in and frost out. I had seen the stuff in use as an awning during Friday arvo drinks with the School Mums a while back, and specifically asked for any free bits with a coldframe in mind. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.

I found an old bookshelf and suitcase at EcoShop yesterday. This morning we (I made this into a family event) flipped the bookshelf on its back, removed the extra slats, repositioned a piece to help keep the plastic up in case of snow, and screwed the plastic onto one side of the case. We used a manual screwdriver as the shelf is just pine. I can fold the plastic back or prop it up at the sides on warm days to keep it ventilated, and cover it back up at night. It’s very heavy, so it won’t blow around.

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I haven’t quite figured out how to dismantle the suitcase yet, so in the meantime I’ve chucked my taller cuttings in it and it’s positioned under the porch.

If you don’t have a neighbour who has an awning business, you can use cheap windows from a reclamation yard, although you need to be able to move them aside on hot days. If you Google ‘Coldframe’ images, you can see loads of ideas.

No-Brainer Watering Bottle

17 May

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This Sustainability Wench Tip is a simple one that re-uses rubbish and benefits your garden.

Throughout the year I have seedlings and cuttings in various spots around the house. The number one rule is not to let them dry out. Sometimes I do let them dry out because I am lazy and put off watering until it’s too late – especially in the winter when the cooler weather fools you into thinking the punnets under the porch are damp enough.

Today I made a couple of watering bottles to keep on hand right next to the plants:

  • Grab large empty plastic bottle.
  • Punch holes in the lid with stabby little scissors. I use ones I borrowed from my parent’s medicine cabinet twenty years ago.
  • Fill bottle up with water, put lid on.
  • Water the plants by giving the bottle a bit of a squeeze in their direction.

By watering through little holes, you avoid that tsunami-effect on the little seedlings. If you fill the bottle up to the top, you don’t have to refill it straight away (depending on how many plants you’ve got to water).