This is part self sufficiency, part being tight and part forgetting to buy some rooting compound when I went to the garden centre!
I'd got back from the garden centre with compost, grit and sharp sand and had plans to do lots of cuttings in the afternoon, then I realised I forgot to buy rooting compound, so I decided to make my own and see if it works.
The idea is simple, willow roots so well because of the indolebutyric acid it contains in its branches, this is a plant hormone that simulate root growth. By steeping branches in water this acid, along with Salicylic acid which cuts down on infection into the cuttings, leaches into the liquid. In doing so you create a liquid that can be used as a rooting hormone.
Well that's the idea at least.
Here's the stages in pictures:
|Child labour stripping leaves|
|I got both of them working!|
|Stripped branches - leaves for compost.|
|Cut up small|
|Boiling water added|
|The liquid 24 hours later, strained and ready for use|
|Some of the cuttings - now I have to wait.|
To use the liquid I stripped some leaves off each cutting, then cut each to the right length, then left them for ten minutes to soak in the liquid before putting it in a gritty compost mix in my root trainers. After I finished I diluted the remaining liquid and used this to water the cuttings in.
Hopefully the cuttings will root easily and I'll have lots more plants in a few months.
Has anyone else done this and what result have you had?