May 14, 2010

Plant Propagation Links and Tricks

I promised my die hard plant swapping friends from the Middle Tennessee Plant Swap last weekend that I would post a follow up on our little propagation discussion. It was so darn cold last Saturday that I couldn't think straight and we all were too cold for any long lecture.

Here are a few links to suppliers of propagation equipment and some of my favorite forums. I'll start with the Plant Propagation on the Garden web forums. It's a good place to post your questions and read what others have posted that may be helpful. Of course our own Tennessee Gardening forum is a good one for folks who are reading this other than the plant swap people.

We talked a lot about Intermittent Mist Systems. Morton's Horticultural Products in Smithville, TN is my favorite local supplier and if you don't want to drive there you can order on line. This is where I purchased my Electronic Leaf to control my mist system. I find a yearly pilgrimage to Smithville and McMinnville well worth the trip. I love to go to Mary's Greenhouse in the spring. Mary actually has about 14 greenhouses full of wonderful plants at great prices.

When I build my next greenhouse I think I will purchase a kit from Farmtek. They have some real nice complete kits that are not too terribly expensive considering all that comes with them.

I don't want to forget Mike McGroarty's web site. His message board is one of the best (you have to enter his site to find it) and you can purchase the Easy plant Propagation book from him or you can find it on Amazon (I bought a used copy).

Here are a few more pictures from the plant swap but the very best ones are from Tngreenthumb and you can find them here.


  1. I have a fig tree, 2 yrs. Looks great, had few tiny figs, none to eat. How old does a fig tree have to be to produce. This one is a 'brown turkey' fig

  2. It looks like you had a great time.
    For folks who are looking for a cheaper alternative to the mechanical timer controlled system, there are digital timers that are less expensive and more versatile.

    Be careful with that electronic leaf. If a bug gets on it or a bird leaves a gift on it, your system will not work correctly and your cuttings will be lost.

    That leaf can actually be omitted to help avoid that and to save a lot of money also.

  3. I had mine in a greenhouse so it was less likly to have the bug and bird problem. I needed to be very careful about over watering so the leaf was very helpful to me. Outside, it might not be necessary but how would you keep from overwatering out there too? Mine came on several times an hour.Can you program your timer for that many programs?

  4. I'm not sure about the fig tree but I bet someone on Mike Mcgroarty's forum (link in my blog) or Tennessee Garden forum would know.

  5. "Mine came on several times an hour.Can you program your timer for that many programs?"

    The timer I have is quite nice. It can control 6 different beds. I can mist with 1, water with another, set up the 3rd to mist, etc, all with one small timer.

    Each bed (zone) can have completely different settings too. I can mist for 5 seconds on one zone, 12 seconds on another, 30 minutes of watering on my grow beds, etc.

    If I program a zone on the timer to mist for 4 seconds every 10 minutes between the hours of 7AM and 7PM, it will do just that; every 10 minutes I will get 4 seconds of mist.

    If I want to water my plants twice a day for 20 minutes, once at 5AM and once at 6PM, I can do that too.

    One of the best features is the battery backup. If power goes out, the battery will hold the program until power is restored, then the timer just follows the program.

    Read this article to learn more.

  6. This is good information, Dwayne. Can you post a link here for your timer? As I mentioned in one of my blogs, I am not using a mist system right now but am planning to build a new greenhouse in the next couple of years.

  7. Sorry I didn't respond earlier...

    The timer can be purchased at Mistkits.
    and is the 5006 model.

    I should let you know that it is my own site :)

    The timer can be purchased elsewhere also.

  8. No wonder you are so interested in mist systems. Looks like you have it all. I'll browse around your site when I get ready to build another system. The thing I did like about the automatic leaf is it was automatic. Mimics the plant leaf - no guessing about how many seconds or how often to mist.

  9. The automatic part of the leaf does sound good. I mist all my cuttings outside in mist beds. I have 65% shade over them to help reduce the stress on the cuttings.

    I set my timer and forget it. The only time I make any adjustments are:
    1. If the cuttings look like they are getting too much/too little mist (very rare)
    2. When I need to adjust the time it starts in the AM and stops in the PM (maybe 2-3 times over the summer)

    I have heard a few horror stories about those leafs. I am very reluctant to use one. Also, they are extremely expensive. You can get a timer and a boat load of plants for what one costs. Just my 2 cents...

    Did "anonymous" ever figure out how to get the fig to produce? I don't know anything about figs, but I wonder if it needs a root pruning...

  10. I'm sure the leaf could be a problem outside - mine was in a greenhouse so less chance of birds and it was well above the leaf line on my cuttings. I'll definatly look at your site before I set my new greenhouse up. I'm all for saving money. Where are you located? I am gardening in zone 6b TN near the KY state line.