Propagating with cuttings


While previously, I struggled to believe what I saw and heard about sticking bits of twig in the dirt and expecting them to grow, I know better now. Rows of neat currant, gooseberry and fig sticks jostle for space in my seasonally empty beds, slowly shooting roots out and becoming a new army of bushes and cordons to plant myself and give away to those nearest and dearest (or unsuspecting enough to not realise I'll be back in the summer with courgettes).

It's easy. As a general rule, cut a nice pencil length, unbranched shoot of this years growth right about now or when the plant is pretty much dormant. Trim away any leaves and poke three-quarters into the ground. Ignore. Next summer furtle around and see if any roots are happening. You would ideally leave it to get on with itself, though in some cases having a carpet of rampantly growing super-spiny gooseberries is not ideal so you can also carefully dig up and re- pot or plant elsewhere.

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  1. i like propagating from cuttings too. I like that you know what you're going to get when it works - no chance for it to be a cross breed, fail to germinate or generally to be anything other than a copy of its parent..


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