Introduction: Urban Homestead Easy Cutting Propagator
Or "What the H am I going to do with this Styrofoam egg carton now for the next 500 years?" Our garden has gotten a bit out of hand, so I wanted to try my hand at cuttings and getting new baby plants to start. I didn't want eight hundred little cups floating around everywhere and little plants diving below the water. So this was the solution...
Step 1: Materials
One stryofoam egg container
One pair of scissors
One hole poker (pen, pencil, awl, small screw driver, skewer...you don't want the holes too big)
One container for water (cake pan, plastic container, etc.)
Step 2: Stab It!
First, separate the lid from the base @ the fold (you don't really need a picture of that, do you?).
You are left with two pieces, a flat one and one with bumps. Let's start with the flat piece, or what was once the lid. Using a pen, mechanical pencil, regular pencil, screw, nail, whatever... stab holes incrementally across the lid. The size and spacing should vary depending on the plant you will be using,
Ex. the stems of my lemon balm are smaller in diameter but bushier than the bottoms of my strawberry runners, so the lemon balm gets smaller holes that are further apart so the leaves don't touch and the strawberry runners get larger holes
Step 3: Lovely Styro-Bumps
When using the bottom of the egg carton, I find it works well for vines and longer clippings when turned upside down. Right side up allows too much water into the cups and the plants rot. Put a hole in the top of each bump, same as the last step.
Step 4: Insert Here --->
Next, prepare your cuttings depending on how your plant likes it (google it to find out). Then simply slip the stem through the hole, separating the exposed nodes from the first leaves.
Step 5: Just Add Water.
Fill a bucket, tray or some sort of container big enough to hold the "boats" with water deep enough to cover the bottom stems. We float ours in our rain catching containers. Keep them in the shade, new cuttings are fragile. "Boats" can be cut in half to fit the container if you need. Change the water every day or so to prevent root rot (and mosquito larva). Drain the boats if they start to collect water.