The early bird catches the worm, right? Or in this case, it catches the delicious fragrant herbs that have been developing in this DIY herb propagating station! I always try to start my herb propagation early in the year to make sure the plants are already strong by the time Spring comes around. Herbs are in high demand in my kitchen so I’m giving them a head start to make sure I have plentiful bushes to pick from!
My main problem with propagating is that I like to propagate from long stems with multiple nodes so that they produce plenty of roots. Those long stems are tricky to care for as they flop around the glass at the slightest touch and fall out of the glass or into the water. This DIY propagating station will let your herb stems grow their roots without disturbance because dammit sprouting roots is hard work and they deserve some peace!
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For this DIY Propagating Station, you’ll need…
- Wooden sheets (I got some like these birch plywood sheets)
- Wooden beads
- Wood glue
- Wood clamps
- Glue gun
Step 1: Cut the wooden pieces
To begin building your DIY propagating station, cut a thin wooden sheet (mine was 6mm thick, like this one) into 4 pieces:
- 2 long pieces for the top and the bottom: 30 x 7cm (12″ x 2.7″)
- 2 shorter pieces for the sides: 12 x 7cm (5″ x 2.7″)
These dimensions allowed me to fit in 4 small jars. You can definitely amend them if you have a specific size of jars in mind.
Step 2: Drill the holes
Next, you can take one of the longer pieces and declare it to be the top (no ceremony needed). Draw a line along the middle and find 4 points at equal distance around which you can draw a circle. I did some very basic and probably very bad maths to find this out. Eyeball where you will want the 3 holes to be drilled on each circle (eyeballing is my kind of maths!)
Start by drilling each hole with a small drill bit. Next move on to the big bad drill bit – basically the largest you own – to enlarge the holes.
The size of the holes will really depend on what you want to propagate, keeping in mind that, in the end, the rooted plant will have to be pulled out through the hole in most cases. I’m propagating herbs like mint and basil, with small stems and non-voluminous roots which will easily fit through. If you want to propagate house plants and larger items, I would recommend you cut a single larger hole under each jar instead of several smaller ones.
Step 3: Assemble the Herb Propagating Station
Next, apply some wood glue to the small edges of the short pieces and press them to the top and bottom of the propagating station. Readjust until the pieces fit together properly and use wood clamps until the glue dries – a few hours usually.
Step 4: Attach the feet
Once your frame is ready to be handled, remove the clamps and turn the propagating station upside down. Heat up your glue gun and, meanwhile, mark spots on the bottom near the edge 2″ away from the side. This is where the feet will go. Glue 2cm (0.7″) wooden beads where you pencilled in the marks and let the glue cool down before you turn the frame over.
Step 5: Paint the outline
Next, paint the front outline (and back if you want) of the frame. I used white for a very minimalist look but a bright pop of colour would be lovely. Mustard, mint green or mauve for example.
That’s it, grab a bunch of herbs and get your herb propagation going nice and slow. Soon it will be time to plant and time for Spring DIYs and patio decoration!!