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in Tools and techniques
My windowsills are always chock-a-block with plants so I am always looking for ways to save space. I had some seed potatoes that were just sprouting at the eyes but they needed a bit more time, so it was either them on the windowsill or my cuttings. More for a laugh than anything I decided to put the potatoes in a tray with a couple of inches of soil (instead of on damp egg boxes) and to poke the cuttings in between them. Oh gosh! the cuttings rooted so quickly and sent up shoots so fast!
I won't bore you with a list of all the different cuttings that succeeded, but it certainly impressed me! Can anyone shed light on this with regard to the science? Is there a hormone or chemical in the potatoes that favoured rooting, perhaps something that kept the soil fresh, or was it just that the potatoes held the cuttings in place better? Has anyone else tried this before who can confirm my results?
My guess would be that the potatoes took up any excess water, so keeping the soil airy and allowing better rooting.
Just a guess, though.
Many hundreds of years ago I am sure I read about putting cuttings into potatoes as a rooting medium, but my memory does not dredge up where it was I read it.