Growing plants from cuttings with a propagator

Babs Beetroot gives us her top tips on growing plants from cuttings.

“Imagine being able to cut a limb off, an arm or a leg, plant it in water and watch a new person grow from it. As a human this sounds crazy. However with some plants you can cut off part of the living stem and with a bit of care and patience you can grow a new plant. While a human would need to go to hospital if they cut an arm or a leg off, if you are careful when taking a cutting from a plant it will remain healthy. I would recommend asking people before you take a cutting from their favourite plant, most people say yes, and then within a year you’ll have your very own.”
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Growing kids’ love of vegetables

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Great news! Thanks to a group of very talented final year film students from the University of Northampton you can hear the story behind the creation of the world’s only underground club for kids – Secret Seed Society.

Behind the scenes Secret Seed Society HQ

Stumbling Goat Productions went behind the scenes of Secret Seed Publications to see a Social Enterprise in action.  With the help of Bright Horizons Nursery and Caroline Chisholm School, they were also able to follow the team spread their love for vegetables through gardening projects and their interactive theatre production ‘What’s the Big Secret?’.  We all had lots of fun filming together, especially the children who became film stars for the day!

Using a propagator with children to germinate seeds.

Setting up your propagator for germination

If your propagator does not have pots you can easily make them from newspaper.

Fill your pots with a light seed compost(if your compost has dried out spray gently with water, this may take a little time to get moist again.) Please check that it does not contain peat. Firm gently.

What seeds are you planting?

Seeds where you want to produce small plants for pricking out and planting on eg cabbage, chard, broccoli, kale and leeks can have 3-4 seeds in a 2cm pot. The first 2 leaves you will see on ‘greens’ are ‘seed leaves’ ot cotyledons. When they have 4-6 proper leaves (or with leeks when they are about 10cm tall) these can be planted on into larger pots or outside to grow into full sised vegetables.

Seeds for root crops, carrots, radishes, parsnips 2 seeds per pot and when they grow remove and throw away the weakest leaving one plant. These crops are more difficult to plant out and sometimes are better planted directly outside.

Grandpa Swede always starts his peas and beans in a propagator as they love the warmth and moisture when they first start to grow. Press one ‘seed’ per 2cm pot into the compost. Broad beans can go out before the frost has passed but French and Runner beans are not frost resistant…look on the seed packet for advice.

Ask us if you are not sure

When you have finished sowing water well and cover with the lid. Place on a sunny windowsill and keep a watch for the plants to come poking through.