The first stage of my process of taking cuttings (starts) is now underway. I have measured out the compost (the stuff that goes in the tray - not the stuff that you allow to rot down in a corner of your garden). The measurement is 4 x 5" pots of compost to 2 x 5" pots of perlite (my perlite is fairly coarse - the coarser the better).
The compost and perlite need mixing together and I find the easiest way to do this is to use a large plastic (polythene) bag add the compost and perlite and then holding the top closed shaking steadily from top to bottom until the mixing is complete (usually a minute or so). At this stage I will check for moisture in the mix by squeezing the compost, if it sticks to my hands it is too wet - if it doesn't form a ball it is too dry and if it forms a ball then falls apart in my hand when touched it is just right.If water is needed do this by using a hand spray and plain water, if too much water is in the compost add a little more perlite and let the mix stand for a day or so before re-checking.
This mixed bag has been placed in the greenhouse to warm up a little (it's fairly cool here at the moment and as the compost is stored outside I find that it is better to do that. The cuttings won't appreciate cold feet and they will root better with a bit of warmth.
It will be a couple of days now before the compost is warm enough to use.... bye for now