The best way to increase you garden’s stock is to nurture cuttings into healthy, organic and sustainably sourced plants ready for the spring.
We did want to offer some input in your plans, which all gardeners know is needed if you’re going to spend your time efficiently, but watching cuttings grow into healthy plants is one of our favourite parts of gardening. Isn’t it just amazing how a whole plant can continue to grow from a small cutting and become a new, individual member of your garden?
It’s not all about beauty and replicating your favourite plants. By taking cuttings you’ll add extra insurance for your Lavender, Rosemary, Bay, Caenothus in case of a severe winter, and that’s only a few of the plants that would be damaged or lost over the cold months.
If you’re pushed for time, concentrate on the tender plants to take your cuttings from. It’s also a lot warmer to stay in the green house around now, and you will have already stored up your tender plants ready for the winter, so it’s a good place to start.
We’ve found the best mixture for cuttings is about 15 per cent sand, 20 per cent biohumus and about 10 per cent biochar added to the equal balance of peat-free compost. It’s always worth carefully watering out air pockets and sprinkling Mycorrhizal Fungi to help boost root production before spring.
If you do get a bit nippy inside the greenhouse then we know a great trick to turn two plant pots into an incredible heater. All you need is a couple of candles, honestly. If you’ve never tried this trick or have no idea what we’re talking about, have a look at the video below on how to create one of these incredible, eco-friendly heaters.
If you do want to venture out to plant some cuttings then it’s a good time to take some semi-ripe cuttings. Try to get material that’s soft towards the tip that has a hard green stem and a semi-wooden base or heel. The heel will be an important source of food that facilitates the cutting to develop an adequate rooting system.
Most of the cuttings can be placed in coir trays in a cold frame or green house. Find some form of heat to come from below Heathers, Salvia, Hebe and Penstemon.
Although tender cuttings will need to remain in the warm until the following spring, semi-ripe cuttings need only be protected from the severe cold and frost inside the glass frame or greenhouse. They need a lot of sunlight and on milder days in mid-winter, you could also ventilate the area.
We’ll be out taking cuttings this weekend ready for the cold. If that is what you’re planning then please keep us updated with how it’s all going. It’s always lovely to read your messages with number fingers during a tea break!