Plant Propagation Machines

For winter reading I just got this book. A very interesting book! So Far! "Creative Propagation 2ed by Peter Thompson" ISBN-10: 0881926817 This book is has my brown thumb getting a little sore. This book is packed with information and is going to take me a while to absorb.
Expanding my garden horizon here. Learning to make new plants from cuttings. I want lots of shrubs - cheap, time is not important. This book has my brain cooking (bad). It talks about these Plant Cloning Machines. I am hard pressed to find any negative information about these machines. Other machines are in the hundreds of dollars. I could buy five "Daisy 8" machines over the "Power Cloner 45" or the "EZ Clone Machine - 30". Are they worth getting?
I was looking at getting a cheap one to start off with, the "Daisy Cloner 8" it was the cheapest that I could find. (Amazon.com product link shortened) ef=pd_sbs_k_2
Are these machines worth it? Will I regret the cheap "Daisy Cloner 8" to start of with? Is it better to just put cuttings into some cloning gel?
I know I can't use apple fruit seeds reliably and I do not want some grafted tree onto cheap or shorten root stock. Can I make a full size fruit tree or a rose bush from a cutting that matches the parent?
Enjoy Life... Dan
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Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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I've tried air layering and gave it up. I created a propagation system for azaleas and other hard woods and gave it up which used a mister on a timer. Maybe 15 per 100 took and then still lost more in time. I've planted 3 node grape and rose and other hard woods over winter and you guessed it I gave it up. Still I propagate all sorts of plants. How by placing a brick on low branches. Root layer is my modus operand exclusively almost. Japanese maples just from seed I can't graft either. Can divide and do just about anything that likes it like day lilies and similar plants like hellebores or hosta. Been doing this for awhile. They make good gifts. Still I will try air layering of tree peonies yet again. Challenge and fun. Good book to look at " Plants-A-Plenty". Many stars and about whereas my Technical garden books are somewhere. Guess I should have seeked out a course or person who knew what was missing in my knowledge. But I was working shift work and the plant work did not make the top ten of things to do. A regret. A minor one.
Bill
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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I looked up "air layering propagation", interesting method. I was unable to find any information on "root layering propagation" from google. Does this book "Plants-A-Plenty" have information on "Root Layering"?
Still, have you tried those expensive cloning machines?
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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Have not tried a cloning machine.
Root layer nothing but taking a brick and securing a low branch to the ground. Come back in two years and cut it off of plant but let the rooted cutting rest another year them move. Some folks damage the part with the weight on I don't. Plants-A-Plenty on p 47 has info. May be at your library.
Bill
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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I wouldn't bother. Many garden shrubs will root perfectly well if you pull off a twig and stick it in the ground.
Slightly more demanding ones, will root perfectly well if you pull off a twig and stick it in a small pot of compost. A book will show you which bit of twig and tell you when. Do a dozen cuttings of the same thing and probably at least one will grow. Or all 12. It's so EASY, gardeners invariably end up with far more plants than they can use and give them away or swap them.
Janet
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See I am not home all the time. Do these cuttings need misting several times per day? Will a heated frame with sand work just as well or is it over the top?
I plan on making a heated propagating frame filled with sand and put a cheap misting system in it. The book "Creative Propagation" and my latest issue of "Hobby Farms" magazine shows how build one. Book says a propagating machine is nice to have. But I do not want to waste what little money I have.
I highly disagree on one thing you stated :)

I have 12 acres to play with. I want hundreds of shrubs and many more in plants. I want to build several garden rooms over time. Large shrubs can do that. I want to create rooms for the bee apiaries, hen house, vegetable and cutting flower garden. Like many people today, I find my funds are getting smaller and smaller. If I bought the plants I would be spending thousands. I want to spend only few hundred. The heated frame alone will cost about one hundred, give or take. Wire fences are ugly. For now I can only dream of that really nice green house :(
So far two posters say no machine is needed. So far no one in rec.gardens has a propagation machine. Do I want to be the first?
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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All the more reason to let them do it all by themselves.

Not the way I do them.

It's not necessary for many plants, or for a beginner gardener.

<shrug> I've only been gardening 40 years, there's an awful lot I still don't know. We all learn by experience.

BDDTGTTS. Your limitation won't be producing enough homegrown plants, or the cost of them. It will be, finding the time and energy to maintain 12 acres of growing shrubs, trees, and a veg garden.
If I bought the plants I would be

Buy seed, and stock plants to propagate more of from cuttings. Buy small, from commercial amenity and forestry growers ( a tiny fraction of the prices charged by garden centres and garden plant nurseries)
The heated frame

Wire fences are ugly, cheap (if you learn how to DIY) , essential for animal control, and easily hidden by planting. The best advice I ever got on how to make a big garden from scratch, was to invest in fencing to exclude rabbits and hares
For growing hardy shrubs from cuttings, a greenhouse is less use than you may think because it gets too hot in the season you'll be taking cuttings. . Cuttings often require cool shade while it has leaves but no roots yet.. Far better, done in line trenches outdoors, like professional growers do. Greenhouses are more useful for tender plants like tomatoes and geraniums that won't survive winter unprotected.
Janet.
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[snip]

True, we all learn by experience. I must thank Janet and Bill for your responses. You both have convinced me to get a propagation machine.
I will also try the suggestions on alternative ways to propagate plants. The scientific mind now wants to compare methods and the cost. Does the machines improve the propagation rate. Will I get X amount of shrubs per 100 cuttings of different methods per cost per plant. I want to know :)

I hope I can retire in three years. I am trying my best to build myself a gilded cage. Just me, the dog and the land :)

That is very very very good advice. I was looking at garden centers. A simple statement I have not thought of. Most helpful.

Yep, that is why I want the shrubs, to hide the fences.

The hawks take care of the pesky rabbits. Deer & foxes is another story. I am surprised that the chickens can shake off a hawk. Foxes No.

That is true also. Its use would only be for a month in the fall and a month in the spring. Still I would not mind halving one. I use grow lights for my seed starting indoors. But towards planting time I have plants in all my windows to the point where I can't see outside. That is why I want the heated frame.

Part of my continuing lifelong education :)

I could not afford the propane cost during the winter. Just early spring. I still have a foot of snow on my front lawn.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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We all lead busy lives and it'd be a very rare person (even a very interested gardener) who is at home all the time. I agree with Janet - one of these things is not necessary.

Depending on local conditions, a heated frame might help but I've never used one. What I think is far more important is the right conditions for your cuttings to take. By that I mean a sheltered area in the garden where they won't freeze of bake. You can keep the moisture up to cuttings by putting a cut down PET bottle over them or a plastic bag over the whole pot with 20 or more cuttings in it.
These things are babies and if you can't raise babies the old fashioned way then a state of the art pricey one won't be any better than the old fashioned and cheap way and it sounds like you havent' raised cuttings yet by any method so try the old way first - it may save you tiem and money in the long run.

:-(( You have my sympathies as that is too big to have for a garden and too small to run animals.
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Correct, I have not tried propagation by cuttings yet. Expanding my horizons here. That is why I asked first if anyone has used these propagation cloning machines. The book I purchased seems to be a good one for my first propagation book. I am the experimenter type and I am in no hurry :)

If, A big IF, I can scape up the cash, I would like to build a small barn and get two goats. I think they would have plenty of room. I just want a little hobby farm, nothing commercial. Hmmm... 4 acres are woods, 2 acres for my 1,500 sq ft home and yard, 6 acres left for my chickens, apiaries, vegetable, flower garden and maybe two goats. Chickens are not fenced in, the vegetable garden is. Right now without the goats, I have plenty of room for me, my chickens and my little yorkie can run his little heart out!
Also it seems from past posters the success rate from cuttings seems to be very low, less than ten percent. I get about eighty percent success rate from seed starting. I do not know what the success rate might be from using a cloning machine.
So far no one here has a propagation cloning machine. Interesting.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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That depends on the plant. With some, almost every cutting will take root and grow (willow, currant, ivy, forsythia, buddliea are just a few examples)
Janet
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