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Simple cheap setup for rooting cuttings
Simple cheap setup for rooting cuttings. The pump of a solar fountain aerates the water, encouraging root growth. These poplar cuttings are rooting much faster and with no wilting compared to cuttings placed in wet soil in the shade. I will be using this method for all cuttings going forward.
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Steve Farmer wrote:These poplar cuttings are rooting much faster

Have you tried other species? Do they all respond better in aerated water than soil?
Just with a few poplar cuttings and some off an unidentified bush so far.
I'd like to get the base of the cutting just above the water surface so it is misted from the splashes, but need to set something up carefully for that. I've got some more solar fountains on order to build an aqua/aeroponics system that I'm slowly designing in my mind. One idea is to incorporate a cutting/seed misting station somewhere in the flow.
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Over the last few years, I've stuck hundreds of grape cuttings into the ground, because that's supposedly how to root them. I got a total of about three rooted plants out of all that effort.

This spring I cut the canes and stuck them into a bucket of water. I changed the water about once a week. About half of the canes produced viable roots. Woo Hoo! That's much better odds for me than sticking them into soil. A friend used rooting hormone on some canes that I gave her and she got almost complete rooting in jars of water. Perhaps if I do this again, I'll cut some willow twigs to add to the bucket. Perhaps they'll share some rooting hormone with the grapes.

make rooting hormone w/ willow cuttings. soak cuttings for a week in the willow water then plant them in moist plain sand in a shallow dishpan. put dishpan in a white garbage bag propped up inside w/ something to keep plastic from touching cuttings. tie off end. place in a shady spot. check weekly for moisture. mist if needed. in 6-8 weeks most of your cuttings should have roots. my father did this for years and had 75% or better success rate. good luck!
I've always got poplar cuttings (close relative to willow) in this setup. Even after they've started rooting I let them stay for a while for the reasons mentioned in the two posts above.
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