Aquarium Propagation Experiment-Success!
I just happened onto this Experiments forum and I thought, "Wow!! There ARE more mad garden scientists out there besides me!"
I thought I'd share one of my successful experiments from last season which I will be putting to use again this year. It is a method of propagating cuttings with an old aquarium.
Gather your tools. You need an old fish tank (i used 10 gallon), scissors or secateurs, rooting hormone sand and/or peat moss, and a big Ziploc bag.
Unless you plan to ask for permission (I did!!) on your "nature walk" also include solid black clothing, black sunglasses or night vision goggles, and work under cover of darkness:)
Go on your nature walk, preferably right now when all the flowering bushes are blooming. Ask for permission to take 6" cuttings from any bushes you like. Or, you can do this in your own yard to propagate more of your own stuff!
As you take the cuttings insert them immediately in the Ziploc bag (which has a tiny bit of water in it) and reseal. Crucial to keep cutting moist at all times during process (Learned that the hard way).
Once you have gathered all your cuttings:
Prepare a little spot of soil in a shady place (you can amend with sand or peat moss too) that will fit under aquarium. Do this in a place where it can be undisturbed for a long time. Make it 2" deep.
NOW - take your cuttings out, one at a time, recut end at a slant below a leaf node, remove lower leaves, dip in rooting hormone and stick into your prepared "bed." When you have stuck all the cuttings, water generously, put the aquarium upside down over all, pile a little dirt or grass around the bottom edge, and FORGET about them for about 6 weeks.
Harden off by propping something under the bottom edge to allow air inside over a few days - then remove aquarium for a few days - then transplant your rooted cuttings.
I have a flock of new lilac bushes around my yard and a few new roses thanks to this method!
OH - I forgot - I also used the aquarium to grow lettuce outside this year in January during a thaw - after I had planted it snowed again but my lettuce kept growing!