Low Cost Gardening - Take Your Own Cuttings

There's no doubt that gardening can be expensive, plants and packets of seed aren't cheap but there are always methods to cut costs. Martyn Loach explains that one of the most satisfying and ultimately rewarding ways to save money is to take softwood cuttings.

Created by Martyn Loach on Friday, 29th of August, 2014.
Updated on Friday, 4th of May, 2018.


Softwood Lavender Cutting

Taking cuttings, whether from your own plants or ones you see in friends' gardens, is a fantastic way of propagating plants free of charge.

How To Take Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings can be taken any time during the summer but June and July are probably best. Take a 4in (10cm) length of new healthy growth. Then, on a bench using a sharp knife, shorten the cutting to just under a leaf joint.

Remove the leaves immediately above and dip the end into rooting hormone, although this isn’t essential if you can’t afford it.

Now you can plant several cuttings to about half of their length in a small pot filled with compost, to which a little sharp sand or grit can be added to improve drainage.

Water and then cover all but geraniums, and any other cuttings with soft downy leaves, with a small plastic bag to conserve moisture and encourage humidity. After about six weeks this can be removed.

For a clematis cuttings, take a portion of shoot that is about 12in (30cm) long. Then shorten it to just above a leaf joint. Make another cutting about 2ins (5cm) below, apply some copper fungicide and plant in compost and cover with a plastic bag.

Stand the pots in good light but not direct sun. Water sparingly and remove any dead leaves and cuttings that wilt and have clearly not taken.

When roots start growing through the base of the pot you know the cuttings have rooted. Now pot individual cuttings on using specialist compost and plant out after a good root system has formed in the new pot.

Propagating Shrubs In The Autumn

Shrubs can be propagated by taking hardwood cuttings in the autumn. You’ll have to be patient but at the end of the process you’ll have a free shrub.

Take off a few 9in (23cm) pieces of stem with a sharp knife. Cut off the soft tops just above a bud and cut off the bottom just below a bud. Make a shallow trench in the earth and scatter sharp sand in the bottom.

Stand the cuttings upright in the trench so that about 3in (7.5cm) sticks out and firm the cuttings in after refilling the trench. The following autumn you should find they have taken root. Replant them 9in (23cm) apart and then a year later they can be planted in their final position.

Most gardeners love to save money, taking cuttings lets you propagate your favourite plants at low cost and little effort, you can then have the pleasure of watching them grow. The results aren't instant but they are surely satisfying.

Related Articles

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 25th of May, 2018.

Take Your Own Plant Cuttings

Take Your Own Plant Cuttings

Propagating by taking cuttings, whether from your own plants or ones you admire in neighbouring gardens, is a fantastic way of increasing the variety of plants in your own garden free of charge, and all you need are a sharp knife and patience.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Monday, 14th of May, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In October

What To Do In The Garden In October

It's autumn and David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that we should also now be planning ahead for next year.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 2nd of October, 2017.

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Gardening TV Programmes I Whats On and When?

Gardening TV Programmes I Whats On and When?

There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018.

RHS Gardening Predictions For 2020

RHS Gardening Predictions For 2020

Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 30th of December, 2019.

Which Gardening Magazine Should I Buy?

Which Gardening Magazine Should I Buy?

Gardening is such a popular activity with interest only increasing over recent years that the magazine rack in your local newsagent or supermarket is packed with publications offering inspiration and practical advice.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Thursday, 19th of December, 2019.

What To Do In The Garden In January

What To Do In The Garden In January

Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is dull and overcast, David Coton suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 29th of December, 2017.