WORK SAVING METHODS IN PLANT PROPAGATION
Willem A. Sanders
Since the early 1970s our nurseries at Boskoop specialized in the production of rooted cuttings, partly for the local market, but mainly for export.
Our propagation methods are similar to those in most Boskoop nurseries, using polythene and bottom heat from hot water pipes lying about 6 in. deep below the surface.
About five years ago we were in a position to expand our greenhouses by about 2.5 acres on a plot situated about 10 miles from Boskoop. We started propagation there in the way we were accustomed to, but found that three or four weeks after sticking the cuttings, the compost (peat and sand) had turned extremely wet.
Then we realized that our new department was situated in a deep polder 16 ft. below sea level. The heated pipes together with the excessive natural capillary action not only sent heat but also humidity upwards.
That experience made us change the complete propagation system. A complete new drainage system meant covering the soil with 2 in. polystyrene sheets to
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