|There are lots of photos on these pages
so it may take a minute to download with
a 56K modem.
If you want any type of success in propagating your own plants you
MUST KEEP THE HUMIDITY AROUND YOUR CUTTINGS HIGH. Read any
book or talk to professional nurserymen they will tell you exactly that.
So how do you do that? I've attached a few photos of possibilities.
Some are a little more expensive than others, but they all work for me
to a reasonable degree.
This has to be the easiest and cheapest, yet effective way
to create a humidity chamber. All it is, is a pot with your
cuttings, a couple of sticks and a large plastic bag. The
sticks keep the bag off of the cuttings and provide support
for the bag. In a 4x4 inch square pot or 6 inch round pot
you can get 10 or 15 cuttings. The key is to mist the
plants with a spray bottle a couple of times a day. It really
does work. Keep in mind that the Perlite, sand or peat
media cannot dry out or be to soggy. Damp and humid is
the way plants grow. Don't place this little setup in direct
sunlight. The plastic will retain all of the heat and cook
your plants. Indirect sunlight is best.
The left photo is a small setup in
my little greenhouse. I used
plastic from a home supply
center and stapled it to a small
frame and the rafters. It's big
enough for four trays that hold
60 4x4 inch square pots. That's
good for about 600 cuttings.
Inside I have 3/4 PVC pipe
connected to a battery operated
timer on a faucet. Misting is
done by 1/4 micro sprinkler
heads available at hardware
stores. On the right is my first
greenhouse...and I still use it.
It's only 8x8 feet. I out grew it in
about two weeks.
Pictured below are two more mist chambers, mist house, or what ever the official name is. On the left is a case
made from 8x2 inch pressure treated wood. It's 8x2 feet and has a lid that's hinged. The lid has white plastic
stapled to it for sun protection, keeping humidity in and cats out. Perlite also makes a great place for cats to do
their business. Anyway, in the summer months you might think about adding shade cloth. Raise the lid if it gets
too hot. There are two pieces of PVC on the lid to hold it up for ventilation. The misting is via battery timer, 3/4
PVC pipe and 1/4 micro sprinkler heads.
On the right is a raised setup. Pressure treated 2x4's makes the base of the frame. The frame has a floor of
galvanized roofing material. The frame for the 6 mil plastic is PVC. Misting is with the same timers I used above
as well as the same micro sprinklers.
I try to use the same battery operated timers and micro sprinklers. Replacement is easier if something breaks or
one of your dogs eats a timer. You can keep few replacement parts on hand, thus reducing costs and hunting for
that special part.
Below is my 12 x 20 greenhouse (actually a cold frame). I've got benches on both sides and a row down the
middle. The middle section is three feet wide that is ground level. The trays sit on landscape fabric. The set up
is working well for me. The picture on the right is my mist area. It works off of a battery operated timer.
Here's an easy way to build an inexpensive shade
structure. I bought a "portable garage" from a
discount hardware store for under $100. Instead
of using the tarp I put shade cloth on it. The whole
set up is about 14' x 20'. There's plenty of room
for trays of rooted cuttings like those below. The
shade cloth should have rope thrown over it to
keep the wind from stressing and stretching it too
Ultimately what you're after are flats
filled with cuttings you have produced
on your own. It's a great feeling to
have people asked where you got the
plants and you can say "I grew them
from cuttings myself."
Pictured below are a couple of photos of a hoop house under construction. It is made out of 2x6 by 10 foot treated
lumber for the base. The cover is made out of cattle panels 16 feet long and 54 inches wide. There are five of them in
this house. Plastic sheeting is placed over the panels. The 2 x 6's are secured to the ground with rebar driven into the
ground and secured with u-clamps. A 2x4 frame on the ends will hold plastic. These are not designed for heavy snow
loads and high winds. Click here to go to the hoop house page.
|Bridge Street Nursery
I bought a professional irrigation timer for this hoophouse. It allows for mist and standard watering times. It's a DIG
5006IP. If you do a Google search you should be able to find them for under $100. It uses the standard 24 volt
solenoids and you can separately program six valves. I'll never go back to the battery operated timers now. They
work but the DIG, in my opinion is the best. The only problem with the DIG is the setup instructions. They are not
very well written.
|This is repeated from a previous page
One important thing that I have learned is to keep things as simple as possible and learn from what others have done to
produce plants. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. The methods shown on this page a tried and true. Some simple variations
in the process might work better for you, but stick to the basics and keep it simple. If you ever decide to become a
professional nursery person then some things will necessarily change. The basics are the same however. The scale just
changes. But for the backyard gardener, simple is better. Don't spend lots of money on gadgets. Greenhouses, special
propagation mixes, cutters, chemicals, bottom heaters, shade cloth, artificial lighting and the like are just not necessary. Go
back and look at the first misting setup. It's a simple pot, baggy, some sand and a little water. Those are the essential
requirements for plant propagation. Other stuff can be fun . . . yet expensive.