Setting up a propagating area

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by susann, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. susann

    susann Junior Member

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    Hi - I am aiming to set up a new propagating area/shadehouse by spring. It will be on the south side of my timber home - a 2m strip half concrete path, half weedy patch.
    I will probably have a 20cm gravel "floor" over the weedy patch terraced down the slope.

    Beyond that I am wondering what has worked well for you?
    Is a bench necessary?
    What containers work best for you?
    What other design features are essential or make life easier?
    What potting mix "recipe" do you use for seedlings?

    Do I sound naive? Any thoughts are most welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    Re: Setting up a propagating area

    Can't help much except to recommend toilet rolls as pots. Four half inch cuts in one end then folded like a box. I get spent potting mix from a local nursery. These pots can be planted straight out when the seedling is big enough. Mind you, I only do this for things like tomatoes, eggplants etc which need to be started indoors where I live. Everything else is sown directly where it is to grow.
     
  3. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Setting up a propagating area

    we've got two fences on the one side of the property - a chain mesh thing about a metre high and a 2.5m wooden monstrosity put up by the occasionals in the holiday home - - this creates a waist high "bench" where I can lean pots and trays to propagate things

    [​IMG]


    this shows the set up down the right hand side of the picture = =
     
  4. Paul Cereghino

    Paul Cereghino Junior Member

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    Re: Setting up a propagating area

    I have switched to propagating my woody plants in a garden bed, using a scuffle hoe in between rows of cuttings, then bare root transplanting in winter. Potted plants need daily watering in summer heat, and the garden bed propagation saves a lot of fuss.

    Check out soil blocks.. nice for vege transplants and reduces water needs, but then you need organic material, but peat moss is an ecological disaster.. coconut fiber is shipped... worm castings work well.
    https://www.inthegardenonline.com/serend ... locks.html
    Then it really helps to have a way to water from the bottom up.

    The old English recipe is 1 part loam, 1 part sand to 1 part sifted compost or castings. If you use 'garden soil' in your mix, beware of 'seed bank' in the soil. Worm castings as an organic part of a mix is wonderful.

    Except for getting a jump on the season, or rapid rotation (ala elliot coleman)
    https://www.amazon.com/New-Organic-Growe ... 093003175X
    or severe slug/snail issues there is not much reason to not plant in the garden and save the hassle.

    With perennials that are slow to emerge or where you don't know about seed viability or stratification requirements I often sow in a flat, see what comes and cut them apart or transplant later to appropriate spacing.

    Paul
     
  5. susann

    susann Junior Member

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    Re: Setting up a propagating area

    This is great - thanks for info so far.

    The main reason for wanting to propagate is that the yard is still mostly lawn - so as I build new sheet mulch beds I'd like to plant in them to get them going.
    Also, its a small backyard design so intensive food management for veg is probably the go to keep us fed as we grow more perennials to for food sources.
    As we are resource poor at the moment - I will be striking lots of cuttings and scrounging seed to get a good stock of plants.
    And I like the idea of trying new types of seeds, planting seeds from friends, seeds from organic fruits bought etc tosee if they will grow.
     
  6. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Setting up a propagating area

    A work bench of the proper height for you is essential.

    A propagation area is useful to help protect seedlings and cuttings from the weather: too much wind, too much sun, too much rain, etc.

    When people speak of using sand in a starting mix, they mean 'sharp' or 'silica' sand, not fine, beachlike sand. A place that sells construction materials (like cement) is a good place to look for it. It's usually white, and the more coarse, the better. But not gravel.

    Sue
     

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