I'm a gardening expert – you can cut down on costs with four easy tricks

GARDENING can be an expensive business and starting for the first time may seem scary – especially when you’re investing heavily in your horticulture.

However, growing your own plans may be cheaper than first thought, thanks to some guidance from gardening experts.


Creators at Epic Gardening shared their key to keeping costs low if learning the art of plant propagation.

With a simple combination of time and skill, they believe that anyone can clone, graft, divide and air layer their way to a lush garden without breaking the bank.

Chris, from Fluent Gardens, has since issued her four top tips.  

DIVISON

The expert describes division as the “easiest way to multiply what you already have in the garden” simply by ripping apart plants and redistributing them.

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Gardeners are encouraged to use a pitchfork or spade to lift large sections of plants from the soil before separating them into small sections with your bare hands.

Chris advises to pot them into small pots or directly into the ground.

She says many plants benefit from dividing as they can they won't be overcrowded and fighting for nutrients and sun.

CUTTINGS

According to Chris, cutting is the most common method for home growers and it can be a lot of fun.

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Although the timing of cuttings can differ from plant to plant, it’s always recommended that you look for healthy tips to harvest from with a length of 4-6 inches.  

These can later be cut to size and redistributed and placed where you want across your garden.  

However, bear in mind that before cloning some plants, you may need permission from the plant breeder.

Chris believes a key tell-tell sign is if a flower possesses a “funky name” or something with a trademark.

It is especially important if you plan on selling the plants that you grow from cuttings.

Notable tools and substances to have handy when taking and proceeding cuttings include:

  • Plastic container box
  • Cell trays
  • Rooting hormones
  • Harvesting clippers
  • Humidity dome

GRAFTING

In grafting you are essentially taking different parts of different plants and you are trying to fuse them together so they can grow as one, according to Chris.

It’s important that you do your homework to ensure that get the same variety in the future.

Chris recommended that you undertake two main grafting methods which are easy to replicate at home.

The first is called whip and tongue and defines the process of cutting through corresponding cuts rootstock and vegetative material which are joined end to end and then bound.

The second and easiest form is chip budding – meaning a bud, rather than a shoot, is attached to a rootstock to make a new plant.

With practice, experts believe these techniques can be mastered by anyone and can be very efficient.

LAYERING

For gardeners who want a less fiddly method of propagation then layering could be way the go.

Chris says: “With layering we are trying to get a parent plant to push out roots in the sections that we want to turn into new plants.

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“Once the roots emerge, then we can severe the section and then we have our new young plant.”

According to RHS, plants that respond well to layering include: Acer, Camellia, Chaenomeles, Daphne, Forsythia, Hamamelis, Jasminum, Rhododendron and azalea, Syringa and Viburnum.


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