Green woods

The essential but subtle distinction between softwood cuttings and greenwood cuttings is their speed of growth. Externally they may appear to be very similar, but greenwood cuttings are taken from the soft tip of the stem after the spring flush of growth has slowed down. The stem is, then, slightly harder and woodier than for softwood cuttings because the tip is not growing away from the hardening stem so fast as it was in the spring. In fact, as the season progresses greenwood cuttings become harder and harder. However, it should be emphasized that greenwood cuttings require just as much environmental control as softwood cuttings.

Use greenwood cuttings to propagate a wide range of trees and shrubs, such as gooseberries, that will root easily, and the majority of herbaceous plants, such as chrysanthemums. However, plants that are difficult to root should be propagated from softwood cuttings and not from greenwood cuttings, which have a slightly reduced ability to develop roots.

Prune back woody plants rigorously in winter to encourage rapidly grown stems with a high capacity to root, which can be used for propagation in the growing season.

Take cuttings from these stems once their growth rate has begun to decline, which will usually be about the beginning of June for most outdoor plants.

Fill a container with cuttings compost and firm to within f in of the rim.

Take a cutting from a fully turgid stem with all its current season's growth, early in the morning. Place the cutting immediately in a bucket of water or a polythene bag in a shaded position, because it is vitally important to maintain the turgidity of a greenwood cutting. If it suffers water loss, its rooting will be hindered.

Place the cutting on a pane of glass and with a knife reduce the cutting to about 3—4 in. The cutting's length will very much depend on the amount of soft growth available. Discard the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Dip the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder of "softwood" strength (0.2 per cent iba).

Make a hole in the compost and plant the cutting up to the leaves. Label it and water with a fungicide. Place in a closed case, mist unit or polythene tent, to prevent excessive water loss and wilting. Ensure the cutting receives adequate light to make the food

4 Place the cutting on a pane of glass. Reduce to about 3-4 in, using a sharp knife.

5 Trim the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, slicing them flush with the stem with a sharp knife.

6 Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone.

SlIIIH' |ll,llll« Mllt.llllr Int ' >'I .'Ii" II /|./i.i

|ii. i m,.illi>n tiy (JummiwikhI I >i l|>1 iiiiiiiiii Viiir . Iiiillnig .tnd inning« I uisythiA ornamental llfiiy iiuit» (ii'i.inium

< t'tnothu» Gooseberry needed for root production, as the cutting has little or no food reserves.

Rooting should take between three and eight weeks. Take the rooted cutting out of the propagating environment but keep it well protected, gradually hardening it off. Then repot in John Innes No. 1 compost or similar (see page 12), and label clearly.

needed for root production, as the cutting has little or no food reserves.

Rooting should take between three and eight weeks. Take the rooted cutting out of the propagating environment but keep it well protected, gradually hardening it off. Then repot in John Innes No. 1 compost or similar (see page 12), and label clearly.

1 Prune woody plants in winter to encourage strong, vigorous stems with a high capacity to root.
in the compost. Insert the cutting up to its leaves. Label the container.

2 Fill a container with cuttings compost. Cut off all of a vigorous stem early in the morning.

8 Water with fungicide. Place in an environment that will control water loss and give shaded light.

3 Place the cutting at once in a bucket of water in the shade.

9 Harden off the rooted cutting. Repot and label as soon as it has established.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment