Location 5



Propagation cases are covered with white polythene which maintains the humidity inside and shades the delicate cuttings from the harsh sunlight that could scorch them.

Propagation equipment


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The propagation tunnel has two skins of polythene which are kept apart with a fan which blows air between them. This insulates the tunnel and keeps the internal temperature steady.


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The sand beds have soil warming cables in them which encourages rooting by providing bottom heat. The sand surface is sterilised regularly by scaping off and discarding the top 3cm and replacing it, this prevents the spread of disease and weed seeds.


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Cuttings can be rooted in cellular trays which root to create ‘plugs’. This minimises the disruption to roots when the plants are potted up.


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Cuttings that root easily can be ‘direct stuck’ which means that they are rooted in the pot that they will be sold in. This method takes up more space in the propagation cases but means that the cuttings do not need to be potted up which saves on labour and also means that their roots aren’t disturbed.


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An irrigation system provides a fine spray of water which keeps the compost damp and wets the leaves of the cuttings, reducing transpiration. It also keep the humidity in the cases high. They cuttings must be sprayed several times a day.


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Once the cuttings have rooted they are moved to the weaning bed where they can harden off ready for putting and moving into a non-insulated tunnel.


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Covered propagator for delicate new cuttings – controlled heat is provided by soil warming cables in the bed which are controlled by a thermostat. Water is provided by sprinklers with atomisers fitted.


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When cuttings have established a root system, they can be transferred from the covered propagator to an area that can be covered in the event of frosts or low temperatures so that they can begin to wean.


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When the root system is well established the cuttings can be potted on and left to grow but still under the protection of the main poly tunnel. They will remain here until they are hard enough to be moved into an unheated tunnel or potted on for sale.


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This video will help you successfully create cuttings from plants.

Making a cutting.

(7 minutes 41 seconds.) Download transcript.

If the video does not play in this window, please click on the title to view it on the UHI Streaming Server.


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