A misting system for propagating plants is a type of aeroponic system that uses mist to grow new plants from cuttings of the original plant. The cuttings are not placed in soil, but instead are suspended above the mist. You can buy ready-made systems to use for propagating blueberry plants, but you can also easily make your own setup quite inexpensively. When choosing cuttings you can either select hardwood, collected around late March, or softwood, collected in June. Either type can be propagated with a mist system. Does this Spark an idea?
- Plastic bin, 10 gallons, with lid
- Drill with 2-inch keyhole saw and 1/4-inch drill bit
- Air pump, aquarium type
- Tubing, to fit air pump
- Splitter, to fit tubing
- Air stones, 8 inches, aquarium type, two
- Net pots, 2.5 inches
- Hydroponic clay pellets
- Timer, digital
Cut two or three rows of 2-inch holes in the bin lid. These should be spaced 2 inches apart and at least 2 inches from the edge of the lid. Your net pots will fit into these holes when the misting system is complete, but the rims on the pots will keep them from falling through.
Place the bin where it will receive plenty of light. Blueberries require this and the cuttings will not do well if they don’t get enough sun.
Drill two 1/4-inch holes in one end of the bin, near the top. Pass a tube through each of the holes. The tubing should reach from the bottom of the bin to the air pump. Attach one air stone to each tube and lay the air stones flat in the bottom of the bin.
Connect a short section of tubing to the air pump, then attach the input of the splitter to the tubing. Hook the tubing coming from inside of the bin to each of the splitter outputs. This completes the bubbling system that will create mist for the blueberries.
Add enough water to the bin so that the level is 1 inch below the bottom of the net pots when they are placed in the lid. It is important that the water level be close to the pots but not touch them. Put the lid on the bin.
Put one blueberry cutting into each net pot. Allow 1/2-inch of the cutting to protrude out of the bottom of the pot. Fill the pots with clay pellets. Put one net pot into each hole in the lid. The bottom of the cuttings should be 1/2-inch above the water.
Set the digital timer so that it runs the air pump for 15 minutes out of every hour, and plug in the pump and the timer. The air stones will create bubbles, and as the bubbles float to the top of the bin and pop they will provide mist for the cuttings. Once the plants have developed a root system they can be transplanted.
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