Attention all green thumbs!
The temperatures are warming up (sort of) which means many of us are itching to get into our gardens. And while it might not feel like gardening season just yet, Antonio Valente says there are things we should be doing now to get those plants up and running. Plant propagation is key to making sure your garden grows strong.
WHAT IS PLANT PROPAGATION?
Plant propagation is the process of growing new plants from a variety of sources like seeds, cuttings and other plant parts.
START YOUR OWN SEEDS
Besides the entertainment factor—it’s fun watching your plants grow from tiny seeds!—starting your own seeds is very cost effective if you do a lot of planting. For instance, a pack of 50 seeds ranges from $4 to $5. You also open yourself up to a wider variety of plants.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Good quality seed
- Mini greenhouse kit (i.e. tray, cells, humidity dome)
- Potting soil (purchase a mix specifically formulated for starting seeds)
- Remember to “harden off” seedlings one week before planting them outside, otherwise they’ll go into shock. This process acclimates the young seedlings to the elements and temperature fluctuations outdoors.
This is a cost effective way to propagate a particular plant you love.
WHAT YOU DO:
- Take a 3-4” cutting from plant. Remove the lower leaves.
- Fill a pot with pre-moistened potting soil. Use a pencil to create a hole for cutting in soil.
- Dip end of cutting into rooting hormone. Gently tap of excess. Rooting hormone increases the success rate of cuttings and hasten the rooting process.
- Create a mini greenhouse around the cutting with clear plastic bag and elastic band. Poke small hole in bag with pencil for ventilation.
- Place cutting in bright but indirect light until rooting is well underway (anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks depending on type of plant).
- Begin now and you’ll have well established plants to set outdoors once the risk of frost has passed.