One of our nursery team – Jenny – recently held a propagation demonstration for the Tiptree U3A. Here are some of the statistics and tips she shared with them!
When taking cuttings:
- Always sterilise the area you are working in and any trays / pots you are reusing
- Use the right compost – some like Jiffys, some like compost
- Use a sharp knife. We put a plaster over our thumbs before we starts to prevent cuts!
- Ensure you have labels ready – it’s easy to lose track of what’s what
- Cover in plastic (except geraniums) but remove the plastic in shady conditions to prevent moisture build up
- We only use a rooting compound for hardwood cuttings and regal pelargoniums
We use heated benches – 18 to 21 degrees Celsius for cuttings and 16-25 degrees for seeds. We also use sodium lights to extend growing hours.
Feeding – use a feed once the cutting is calloused and is producing roots. A general balanced feed is best.
Some Perrywood numbers!
- We sowed 259,200 pansy and viola seeds this year – there was not 100% germination as the weather was too mild
- We potted on 23,000 cyclamen this year
- We have 120 varieties of fuchsia and take cuttings from the previous year’s plants
- We use a compressed air seeder to put seeds into plug trays – the machine can do 80,000 seeds per hour. Because we change varieties every tray or half tray we are slower! A commercial machine, like from Colgraves, will do 280,000 seeds an hour!