Tips for Beginners: Making the Nearing Frame Method More User Friendly
Dr. Mark Konrad
The Nearing frame technique offers a method of propagation, both to the amateur and professional, which is orderly and reasonably predictable (see spring 1999 issue, page 69). There is also the advantage of double use each year with early summer and fall crops. Compared to other methods, the maintenance and costs are greatly reduced.
Historically, many accomplished propagators have been successful with this technique (Nearing, Leach, Baldsiefen).
Figure 1. A sunken underbed box holding cuttings
is placed in the Nearing frame for convenience.
For me, the major hindrance has been the inconvenience. Because of this, the following adaptation has been made. For portability, an underbed storage box is used so that the placement of the cuttings can be done at a convenient workbench site. The box is made of clear plastic and measures 36" x 16" x 6".
After preparation of the cuttings, the box is placed in a pre-excavated site beneath the typical Nearing frame shelter. The box is sunken to a depth of approximately 3 inches with only the lids slightly above ground level. The box can be easily lifted to check for moisture content since there is no provision for drainage (see Figure 1).