Friday, May 25, 2018

12 Jun

It’s Time to Take Softwood Cuttings!

Taking cuttings is an easy and effective way to increase your garden stock year after year without spending a penny!

Taking softwood cuttings is the best way to produce more bounty from your garden. Many of you may already divide your plants but a lot of plants are impossible to divide. Germinating seeds is also a good way to get plants for nothing but theres no guarentee that seedlings will be the same as their parents.

Unlike seeds, cuttings will always be identical to their parent plant. You can take cuttings from deciduous shrubs such as Fuchsia, Buddleia and Hydrangeas, trees such as Betula, maples and some ornamental cherries. Once you have strong plants you can take cuttings and swap them with your friends or neighbours to gain new plants for free.

When to take softwood cuttings…

Most shoots are taken in spring or early summer from the new growth season. If you don’t pot them up by mid summer its unlikely they will survive the winter so put them in the freezer and wait until next spring.

July is the best time to take softwood cuttings from shrubby herbs like lavendar, rosemary and thyme. Take cuttings from the new growth towards the end of the month and pot them up individually when they have rooted (usually 4-6 weeks).

Taking softwood cuttings…

1. Make sure your cuttings are from young, plant roots as they will root more easily. Take your cuttings from a non-flowering shoot.

2. Cut them stem with sharp scissors just above a pair of leaves, you can do this several times.

3. Take cuttings early in the morning and put the cuttings in a clear plastic bag as you go to retain moisture.

4. Take the cuttings out one by one when you are finished and trim the base of the cutting with a sharp knife to cut off the bottom leaves.

5. Use gritty cutting compost to pot on your garden cuttings. Use a knife to remove the soft growing tip from each cutting as this may cause the cutting to wilt and hinder the formation of roots.

 Let us know how your soft wood cuttings are growing! Post on our Facebook wall by clicking here!


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