Several methods of propagation are so simple that any amateur may practice them. Probably the simplest of all is layering. In this case a new plant is procured without severing a stem from the parent plant. The simplest forms of this method are with the strawberry, which sends out runners that need only be anchored with stone or clod in order to take root, and with the blackcap raspberry, which takes root from the tips of the present season’s canes, if these are anchored so the wind does not whip them about.
Modifications of this method are employed with the grape and other vines, currants, gooseberries, etc., which are buried shallow and al-lowed to remain so for several weeks. The buried shoots readily take root and can be severed so that at least one bud or growing stem is allowed to each little clump of roots. With quinces, gooseberries, and currants mound layering is often resorted to. This consists in piling earth around the bushes to the depth of several inches, and when the stems have rooted, cutting these off with their attached roots, and transplanting.
Propagation by cuttings is so simple with most outdoor plants that anyone can employ it. For i-stance, blackberries and red raspberries need only to have their roots cut in pieces and these planted in moist soil in order to secure new plants. Grape vines may be cut into single eyes or two-eyed pieces, and buried for several weeks. Sometimes they are cut with a heel or mallet so as to get a wider area and root surfaces for each stem. As soon as they are rooted, and the tops are growing nicely, they may be transplanted to nursery rows and allowed to grow a season before being set in place. All these plants mentioned are so treated in early spring, and so are currants and gooseberries and many hardy shrubs for ornamental purposes. In many cases the twigs are merely pushed into the ground and the earth finned about them.
For indoor cuttings a saucer may be filled with sand and kept moist for such green wood cuttings as geranium, carnation, chrysanthemum, etc. When these have produced roots they may be transplanted to little pots or boxes and transplanted again from time to time as the plants grow, and fill the pots with roots. Always in making green wood cuttings, it is advisable to cut close to a bud at the lower surface, at least one half.
A very convenient method of securing rooted cuttings is to use two flower pots, a large one with gravel, broken pots or other material in the bottom to form drain Cutting Bed age, and then a smaller pot with the drainage hole plugged to prevent leakage. This pot is then set upon the drainage and the space between the two pots filled with sand. Finally the inner pot is filled with water and the cuttings placed in the sand around its edge.
For starting seedlings in the greenhouse or in hotbeds, it is often desirable to use flats, that is, boxes not over 3 inches deep and of any other convenient dimensions. These boxes are filled almost full of soil and the seeds sown therein. They are also useful for pricking out seedlings of such plants as cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, etc. The young plants are put at distances of, say, 2 inches, to develop abundant roots, and to become stocky. In order to get them at even intervals, a marker is often used as shown in the illustration.