HOW TO TAKE cut­tings

Herbs & Superfoods - - Grow Your Own Herb Garden -

Prop­a­ga­tion by stem cut­tings is a great way to increase your stock. Most herbs take well with soft­wood cut­tings, but semi-ripe and hard­wood cut­tings can be taken too. Soft­wood cut­tings are taken in late spring to early sum­mer from the soft green tips of plants. Semi-ripe cut­tings are taken in late sum­mer when growth has slowed and the stems have be­come firmer. Hard­wood cut­tings are taken in au­tumn from ma­ture woody stems.

Take cut­tings in the early evening or morn­ing when the air is cool. Choose strong, pen­cil-thick stems on the cur­rent sea­son’s growth. Cut the stems into 15cm-20cm lengths. Make an an­gled cut above the top node and a straight cut just be­low the bot­tom node (this end is in­serted in the soil). Re­move any flow­ers, side shoots and leaves ex­cept two leaf sets at the top. To en­cour­age root­ing, dip the bot­tom end in root­ing hor­mone or honey. Insert stems in a clean pot filled with prop­a­gat­ing mix (1 part peat to 1 part coarse sand) with a third of the stem and at least two nodes above the soil sur­face. Main­tain mois­ture lev­els un­til the cut­tings form roots, then trans­plant the cut­tings in­di­vid­u­ally into small con­tain­ers or out in the gar­den.

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