Propagating Herbs in Sand

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Propagating herbs in sand requires you to follow a few basic, easy to manage steps. Learn about propagating herbs in sand with help from the owner of a biodynamic nursery in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Herb Gardening
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Oscar Carmona, owner of Healing Grounds biodynamic nursery located in sunny Santa Barbara, California. Today, I'd like to talk to you about propagating herbs in a sandy medium. First, let's just talk about the purpose of sand in a medium for the purpose of propagating herbs. Sand provides a good amount of drainage so that the water and moisture is not pooling up on the seeds and subsequently drowning them or rotting them out. At the same time, the soil medium for propagating purposes also needs a certain amount of holding capacity, so you can use decompost leaves or you can use peat moss as I'm using here, and instead of sand I have a product called vermiculite and it's a white product that serves a very similar purpose to sand which is for drainage. We're going to use one of the easiest herbs to propagate from cutting, which is rosemary. Typically with any herb that you're going to propagate from cuttings from stem cuttings, you want to take the tips of the plant and usually as straight as you can get. Six to eight inches usually is a good amount of length to cut. The main thing that you need to know about removing the leaves is that the best way is to take your finger and gently but still firmly move your hand in the opposite direction in which they're growing. In other words if the stem is growing this way, we're going to move down the stem with our finger and remove the branches careful not to remove any of the bark itself. But just from the stems. And at this point we a nice spear that we can simply place into our waiting receptacles here. You can see how easy it is. Now keep in mind that not every one of these is going to take, so it's really best if you're going to require a certain number of cuttings that you do at least two to three times as many so that you have plenty of opportunity to get the number that you're looking for. The next important thing to remember is that you're going to water these in very well and you really want the water to be draining and pouring through. This is the one time that you really want to make sure that you have an abundance of moisture here around the plants, because that's what's going to help be part of the stimulating requirements for these plants to produce roots. You can see here I've already got plants placed and this is a warming table. It's not required, but you can use a water heater. Anything that will provide an even kind of warmth at the base right where the plants are being kept and that's going to stimulate the root production. So that's the other part. And together with the bottom heat and plenty of moisture, if you're not going to be around there as often to water them around all the time, you can put a little bit of plastic over these. We're in a greenhouse, it's not necessary for me to do that per se at this time of year so I'm just monitoring these for moisture and the consistent flow of. In about three to four weeks you can start to tug on the plants and you'll also begin to see some topical growth at the very tips. So at that time you will know that the plant has developed roots and it's then a good choice to go ahead and plant those into separate pots. I'm Oscar Carmona for Healing Grounds certified biodynamic nursery in Santa Barbara, California. Happy gardening.

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