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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gardening Study School: Factors Affecting Plant Growth Outline

Lettuce covered in frost looking
decidedly other worldly. Want to bet
it's growth was slowed in this situation?

A.  Growth defined
The progressive development of an organism; an irreversible increase in volume due to the division and enlargement of of cells. The processes of growth, including the three major functions that are basic to plant growth and development
  1. Photosynthesis – The process of capturing light energy and converting it to sugar energy, in the presence of chlorophyll using carbon dioxide and water.
  2. Respiration – The process of metabolizing (burning) sugars to yield energy for growth, reproduction, and other life processes.
  3. Transpiration – The loss of water vapor through the stomata of leaves.

There are two sets of of factors that affect plant growth: Environmental and Genetic
Each can be a limiting factor in plant growth. These environmental factors do not act independently example - inverse relationship between soil moisture and air
B. Environmental Factors                                                 
      1.  Light – variations, intensity, duration
The nature of light
Light changes through the seasons
Quality, intensity and duration of light are important
1. Quality can't be controlled on a field scale - Feasible on specialty crops
2. Intensity of light (brightness) is an important factor.
photosynthesis light intensity
3. Duration - Photoperiodism - Plant behavior in relation to day length
- long day plants - flower only if days are longer than same critical period - 12 hours Grains and clovers
- short day plants - flower only if days are shorter than a critical period soybeans.
- indeterminate - flower over a wide range of day lengths. Tomato, cotton, buckwheat
Plants compete with other plants for available light, nutrients and water – weeds are invariably plants that can out compete our preferred plants. Weeds grow faster, taller blocking out light or can access water and or nutrients better than our desired plants; that's why we remove them.
      2.  Water/Moisture
Availability and lack of water effects
Wilting point and permanent wilting point
Water and roots
Water and leaves
Water in the xylem and phloem
Plant growth restricted by low and high levels of soil moisture
1. can be regulated with drainage and irrigation
2. good soil moisture improves nutrient uptake
If moisture is a limiting factor fertilizer is not used efficiently.

      3.  Temperature
Metabolic changes
Nutrients in cold/warm soils
Most plant growth occurs in a fairly narrow range - 60 - 100 degrees F
1. Temperature directly affects
photosynthesis (slows)
transpiration - loss of water
absorption of water and nutrients
2. The rate of these processes increases with an increase in temperature responses are different with different crops
cotton vs collards or potatoes
fescue vs bermuda grass
These generalizations hold within a crops range of adaptation
3. Temperature also affects soil organisms: nitrifying bacteria inhibited by low temperature. pH may decrease in summer due to activities of microorganisms
4. Soil temperature affects water and nutrient uptake
High temperatures cause increased respiration sometimes above the rate of photosynthesis. This means that the products of photosynthesis are being used more rapidly than they are being produced. For growth to be sustained photosynthesis must be greater than respiration.
      4.  Atmospheric conditions; effects of pollution
Carbon dioxide makes up 0.03 per cent of air by volume. Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide to organic material in the plant. Carbon dioxide is returned to atmosphere by respiration and decomposition

In a corn field or closed greenhouse CO2 level may drop and become a limiting factor in growth.
Increasing CO2 can increase crop yields respiration of plants and animals - decomposition of manure or plant residue may release CO2
Adding it to a greenhouse at very high concentrations for several hours will eliminate pests.
greenhouse crops
Plant growth and quality can be enhanced by supplemental CO2. Growth responses have been shown with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, flower crops, greens, peas, beans, potatoes
Air Quality
Air pollutants in sufficient quantities are toxic to plants sulfur dioxide - provides sulfur at low levels
Acid rain – acidifies water has demonstrably killed trees
Thinning ozone – permits ultraviolet radiation harming plant growth especially in seedlings UV radiation is intimately tied with genetic mutations
Particulate matter in atmosphere reduces photosynthesis and clogs stomata on plant leaves also inhibiting photosynthesis
      5.  Nutrients
the 18 nutrients
Nutrients from the atmosphere:
Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
Primary nutrients:
Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium (NPK)
Minor nutrients - they are minor only in that not that much is required by the plant, still all are essential to plant growth
Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Boron, Manganese, Copper, Sulphur, Molybdenum, Zinc, Choline
Justus von Liebig (a German chemist) considered the father of modern chemical agriculture
Leibig gave us NPK – the three primary minerals for plant growth
Liebig's Law of the Minimum
How plants take up nutrients
Most of the nutrients used by the plants are absorbed by the roots from a soil solution
Nutrients in the soil
Nutrients in the plant
Over fertilizing causes burning and leaves; possible collapse (death) of the plant and is a principle cause of polluted ground water. Furthermore the lush growth promoted by over fertilizing is delightful eating for most insect pests.

C.  Genetic Factors (Heredity)
Yield potential is determined by genes of the plant. Characteristics such as quality, disease resistance, drought hardiness are determined by the genetic makeup.
Ornamental plants - not interested in total growth as much as appearance
control over the genetic factor by his choice of variety.
Field crops - highest yielding, disease resistant, etc.
Nursery - Best appearance - dwarf vs larger shrubs
Inheritance in plants
F1 generation and beyond 

Gardening Study School: Pruning Handout

On both these illustrations, you can clearly see
the Bark Branch Ridge and where to cut
in relationship to it.

General Notes:

Pruning involves the selective removal of specific plant parts for the benefit of the entire plant.
  • usually involves the removal of branches
  • can include removal of roots, seed pods, or flower buds.
  • many plants will grow and flower with little pruning provided they are given sufficient room to grow. (Don't prune it unless needed!)

    Pruning is
  • frequently misunderstood and incorrectly practiced.
  • Common to wait until a plant has out-grown its intended space before deciding to prune.
  • others incorrectly view pruning as an annual spring ritual that must be done --- sometimes when it is not needed.

    Pruning should be viewed
  • as a regular part of maintenance
  • not a remedial correction of neglected problems.
Pruning to maintain plant health includes the elimination of dead, dying, or diseased wood. A dying branch or stub can be an entry point for insects or diseases that could spread to other parts of the plant. When removing diseased wood it is important that the cut be made with a sterile blade into healthy wood. Dip the blades in a disinfectant between each cut or you could spread the disease. (choice of disinfectant – bleach? Listerine? Alcohol? )

Pruning special effect as is the case with espalier, or tree form plants.

Pruning is sometimes undertaken to help a plant recover from transplant shock or from construction damage.
Trees are pruned to eliminate low-growing branches that interfere with traffic or to thin the branches (lacing out) to allow more sunlight to reach plants that are growing under them.

Pruning can enhance the flowering display of some plants. As a plant matures it produces more but often smaller flowers. Pruning reduces the amount of wood and so diverts energy into the production of fewer but larger flowers.

Pruning-off faded flower clusters of crapemyrtle will stimulate the production of new flower buds and a second round of color.
Pruning can be used to produce longer, stronger stems, more colorful stems , or more attractive fruiting.

Response to pruning
A basic understanding of how a plant responds to pruning will help you do a better job. The terminal bud on a shoot produces a hormone (auxin) that inhibits the development of lateral buds along the shoot. When the terminal bud is removed the lateral buds near the cut (6 to 8 inches below) become active and grow. Regrowth on a branch with a 45 to 60 degrees angle will develop farther down the shoot.

When cutting back to a bud, make the cut at a slight angle just above the bud.

NOTE: The angle will allow moisture to flow off the cut. Avoid making the cut at a sharp angle because it will produce a larger wound. When you cut a branch back to the main trunk or to a lateral branch or bud the wound will heal quicker. When you prune leaving a stub the cut is slower to heal. The dead stub is an entrance point for disease and insects.

While pruning is done to reduce the overall size of a plant, it should be remembered that the growth of shoots near the pruning cut are invigorated. Strong shoots should be moderately pruned and weak shoots should be severely pruned. Severely pruning strong shoots will cause vigorous growth.

Correct pruning is the selective removal of branches while maintaining the natural shape of the plant. It is not the same as shearing in which the ends of most, if not all, branches are removed.

A good pruning job should not be conspicuous.
Before starting consider the natural form of the plant; choose branches that do not fit the natural form for removal. Each plant species has an individuality that distinguishes it from other plants.

Shearing increases maintenance; any new growth that occurs will seem out of place and extend beyond the artificial shape that has been created. Pruning to maintain the natural shape is less formal but looks better. New shoot growth tends to blend in and the time between pruning is extended.

Types of pruning

Five basic techniques are used for pruning shrubs:

heading back
pruning for renewal
and shearing.
Some plants require more of one method than another, but good pruning is usually a combination of several methods.

Pinching - is the removal of the terminal portion of a succulent, green shoot before it becomes woody and firm. Pinching can greatly reduce the need for more dramatic pruning later on. Whenever (except late summer) you see a shoot becoming excessively long simply pinch or cut the shoot to reduce its length and to promote side branching. Long, vigorous shoots should be cut back into the canopy instead of cut at the outer limits of the existing foliage.

Heading back - involves removing the terminal portion of a woody branch by cutting it back to a healthy bud or branch. Heading back will stimulate shoot growth below the cut thus making the plant more dense. The shape of the plant can be influenced by cutting to inward or outward growing buds. The top bud should be located on the side of the branch that faces the direction new growth is desired. Some plants will have two buds opposite each other on the stem. When such stems are cut, remove one of the buds if you need to control the direction of new growth. If both are allowed to grow, a forked and often weak stem may develop. Repeated heading back with no thinning cuts results in a top heavy plant. Dense top growth reduces sunlight and results in the loss of foliage inside the plant canopy.

Thinning - is the least conspicuous method of pruning and results in a more open plant without stimulating excessive new growth. Considerable growth can be cut without changing the plant’s natural appearance or growth habit. With thinning cuts a branch is cut off at its point of origin from the parent stem, to a lateral side branch, to the “Y” of a branch junction, or at ground level. A good rule-of-thumb is to prune to a lateral that is one-third the diameter of the branch being removed. Thin out the oldest and tallest stems first, allowing vigorous side branch development. This method of pruning is best done with pruning shears, loppers, or a saw --- not hedge shears.

Renewal pruning (rejuvenation) - involves removing the oldest branches of a shrub by pruning them near the ground, leaving only the younger, more vigorous branches which may also be cut back. Small stems (less than pencil size) should be removed.

A variation of renewal pruning involves cutting all branches back to a predetermined height each year. Butterfly bush is often pruned back to woody framework. With time the framework becomes congested and will require some slight thinning.

Shearing - involves cutting the terminal of most shoots with shearing or hedge clippers. This method should not be used on foundation plants but should be restricted to creating formal hedges. Shearing destroys the natural shape of the plant. It causes a thick profusion of growth on the exterior of the plant that excludes light form entering the center of the plant (Figure 15-30). Foliage on the interior of the plant dies. The natural renewal growth from within the plant in prevented.

Time of pruning
Light corrective pruning can be done any time of the year. Occasional, light pruning will reduce the need for severe pruning which might weaken the plant and reduce its natural beauty. When severe pruning becomes necessary it should be undertaken in late winter to early spring.

Woody plants heal pruning cuts by producing rolls of callus that gradually grow over the wound. Internally they compartmentalize or wall-off the damaged tissue from healthy wood. These responses to wounding occur more rapidly just prior to the onset of new growth in the spring and just after maximum leaf expansion in June. The time of pruning will also affect the amount of new growth produced. Plants respond to late winter and early spring pruning by producing vigorous growth to replace the removed wood.
A. When How and Why

  1. Pruning normally takes place in the winter months for deciduous trees
  2. Sap flow in trees is reduced and the garden calendar is much reduced
  3. The 'ideal' window in our world is from the ML King holiday to Valentines Day – it is getting earlier! For citrus, and other non-deciduous trees, this is not true – prune them after they have flowered or fruited regardless the time of year.
  4. Trees and some shrubs left to their own devices outgrow the space we've allotted for them, but also grow into a less manageable mass if proper pruning is not done.
    PLEASE NOTE: as you drive around and see government workers and crews pruning trees and shrubs, you can bet money that most of that work is incorrect! Pruning is an art and a science and both have been thrown out the window in a headlong race to hire the lowest bidder.
B. Tools
  1. Pruners (a bypass or secatuers not anvil style pruners!), loppers, saw(s), knife, pole saw and pole pruner
    a. pruners are your best weapon – cleanest cut
    b. saws are your second best cut
    c. lopper cuts often need to be cleaned up with a knife
    d. pole pruners and pole saws are difficult to control for correct cuts.
  2. Sharp and clean – disinfected too
    a. sharpening demo – hand held stone to the belt sharpener
    b. disinfectants – alcohol, 10% bleach solution, Listerine
  3. A ladder for some trees
    a. not your household ladder!
    b. tripod, orchard ladder
  4. Dress appropriate to the job at hand
    a. gloves
    b. not a lot of blowy clothes
C. The Principles of Pruning
  1. Cut any damaged, diseased or dead wood first.
  2. Cut out crossing wood
  3. Open the center of the plant to allow light and air flow.
  4. Prune to shape, if any more pruning is needed.
  5. Cut to a node, paying attention to the apical dominant points, through the bark branch ridge and make the cut as clean as possible.
  6. Stop pruning and step back frequently to assess the progress. 'Ask' the tree/shrub what shape it needs to be. DO NOT RUSH. Do not get frozen with anxiety, but don't blithely hack the plant apart.
  7. Depend on your pruners mostly with the pocket saw as your second most used tool – use the lopper only as necessary – and use the pole tools the least!
  1. Demonstration, indoors and outdoors. Student participation encouraged.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meristematic Tissue and Propagation By Cuttings;

Lecture: Meristematic tissue and the principles of propagation by cuttings; Pages 92-113; soil mixes for propagation
Demonstration: Different kinds of cuttings
Practical: Making cuttings

Dress to be cold and wet, but be prepared to be overheated too. It was hot here Saturday afternoon, but at 3:00 PM the sun went away and so did the heat; it became cold and damp and not at all pleasant. We can be indoors for part of the class, but if it's cold, that room is cold and most of our work will be outside.

I will make hot tea – bring your own cup!

Cuttings – Asexual Propagation **(we will use pruners today)

Medium mixes for different kinds of propagation:

Note: I use potting soil or cactus mix for almost all of my work, I do not mix specific batches of medium for most applications. It takes less time and results speak for themselves. If, however, you want to do it on your own, or you are employed by an employer who insists on being penny wise and pound foolish, these are basic mixes that are used the world over.

Basic Mix with Compost

1 part sifted compost
1-2 parts Sphagnum Peat Moss
1 part Perlite
(Note: compost provides some basic nutrients for plants and should enable a few weeks growth without additional fertilization. This mix, therefore, should
not be used for starting seeds.)

Cutting Potting Mix 1:1

1 part peat
1 part sharp sand

Seed Starting Mix 1:1
1 parts peat
1 parts vermiculite

Look at the qualities of each mix and you deduce the reasons for the ingredients – you can replace constituents with others – or arrive at a solution starting with pre-mixed soil. That's primarily what I do. I have mixed my own in the past, but to me it's more work than it's worth unless you are mixing enough material to require a bulldozer!

What is asexual propagation?
Basically, cloning – any kind of propagation that doesn't involve pollination.

Why would people want that?
Keep specific characteristics alive – perhaps easier and faster than seed, sometimes to propagate a mutant or a sport, multiply many salable or fruiting plants rapidly, overcome pest or climate problems that would prohibit planting in given environment.
Potatoes, garlic, some onions are annual food crops grown from asexual propagation.

Forms of Asexual Propagation
  1. Division - rhizomatous, perennial plants
  2. Cuttings - +/- woody perennials
  3. Grafting and budding

Types of Cuttings (The term Strike = successfully rooting a cutting... )
  1. Stem Cuttings – typical for most plants
  2. Leaf Cuttings – leaf cuttings for begonias and streptocarpus; somewhat less common
  3. Root cuttings – also not that common, but very useful when needed, i.e. Romneya coulteri and Rhus species

Many plants propagated by more than one method, method of choice is usually dictated by the season, or what one has on hand or the time fram one is working within.

Stem Cuttings (what we'll do today):

We will take cuttings from many different species and put them into LGM Cactus mix (either in quarts or gallons).... Why I do what I do....
Why one gallon? Why LGM Cactus mix? Why now?

In books instructions have you take wood usually described as
greenwood Soft (or Tender)

Term is descriptive of the flexibility of wood.

Greenwood cuttings are the trickiest without a misting system and attention. Soft-wood is somewhat less tricky, but still problematic for a home gardener without a green house and misting. Hardwood cuttings work but are painfully slow and can become problematic because of the necessary attention to them. Most plants will form some roots in six weeks if handled appropriately.

The crux of the problem is water loss prior to root formation. Failure of cuttings can always be summarized as 'drying out' or 'death by thirst.' However, the growth of fungi and mosses and bacteria and the resulting rot of the cutting form the limits to keeping the plants moist until they form roots.

Controlled in my case by open air, full sun cuttings and by the use of cactus mix... Misting twice a day.
Cuttings can be bagged with plastic bag – plus and minus
Grandma's used canning jars to strike cuttings.

Meristem & the Role It Plays

Meristematic tissue found at the nodes and the cambium.

Cuttings: ideally, two nodes above and two nodes below – more does not equal better!
Limited green leaf on top
Cuttings are possible with less if that's what you have
Internodal cuttings and exposing the cambium when there is only one node...

Overuse inhibits root formation and most plants will take without it. Use of Earth Juice OK

In taking multiple cuttings, cut bottom flat and top at a slant – cuttings will not take 'up-side-down'

If possible, take as many cuttings as you reasonably can

Cuttings today:
Goji or wolfberry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum

Gingko biloba

Vitex agnus-castus or Vitex, Chasteberry, Chaste Tree,

Root stalks  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Scion Wood Preparation

From the California Rare Fruit Growers, these are the instructions for making scion wood cuttings for their exchange.  


Select straight wood from last year’s growth and cut as near to our scion wood exchange date as possible.

Wood should be ¼” – 3/8” diameter (pencil size) and contain several buds.
Cut to lengths that fit easily into a Ziploc-type bag.  Cut with a slanting cut on the top (distal) end and flat cut on the end that would have been nearest the trunk (medial).
Bundle by variety in a moist paper towel(s) and place in a Ziploc-type bag,  leaving a slight opening in the Ziploc bag for the wood to breathe. Put only one variety in each bag. Make sure that the towel(s) stay damp as long as the wood is stored.
Label the outside of the bag with fruit type and variety, as well as any additional information you feel is pertinent (i.e. minimum chilling hours; needs pollinator; vigor; area where successfully grown, etc). It’s nice to add your name so that those collecting your wood know where the wood came from and can ask you questions about the parent tree.
Keep the scion wood bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator until the morning of the exchange.  Be careful not to let the scion wood freeze!

At the exchange, please wait to make your selections until directed by the Chair.
Please limit your selections to two of any variety, until everyone has had an opportunity to collect wood.  Then feel free to go back. Please do not collect wood you do not plan to use.

What to do with your collected scion wood after the scion exchange:

If you don’t plan to graft as soon as you get home, remember to add moist paper to the bag and refrigerate until you have the time to graft. Do not freeze! Be careful with the label. An all too frequent mistake is to put the label in the bag with the wood. Then, when you add moist paper, the label becomes unreadable. To avoid bringing disease into your garden, immerse your chosen scion wood cuttings in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water for 10 seconds.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Plant Propagation Syllabus, 2013


Instructor: David King
Email: redacted (if you need these, please message me in comments on this post)
Phone: redacted

There are no prerequisites for this course, although some knowledge of basic botany is extremely helpful. We meet on Sundays from January 20 through March 24 for 10 meetings, nine on Sunday and one Saturday field trip.

In our field trip we will attend the WLA chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers meeting on February 9th, from 10:00 to noon. This is the day of their annual ‘Scion Exchange’ and is not to be missed if you can help it. There is no other forum in Los Angeles that offers a better introduction to grafting!

All other meetings are on Sunday 1:30 to 4:30 PM to The Learning Garden, at the Venice High School campus. This site is close to the ocean and because we meet outside or in an unheated classroom, please dress appropriate to the weather, which is invariably colder than one would imagine. We will do what we can to mitigate the cold and rain, should it come, but the material of the class is best covered with live plant material in the garden – which, of course, is outside.
We will also be working with potting soils and cut plant material in almost every single class, gloves will probably be desired. Dress so that you can comfortably get dirty and still stay dry. Dressing in layers is probably the best idea when it comes to being outdoors at The Learning Garden.

Course Purpose

This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of plant propagation, both sexual and asexual, and the science and art of grafting and budding.

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the care and safe use of tools in plant propagation.
  2. Understand the biology of sexual and asexual propagation of plants.
  3. Understand and use the different styles of propagation of plants.
  4. Be able to set up and use a plant propagation system.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the above by propagating different species of plants.
  6. Understand the physiology of plants sufficiently to be able to successfully bud and graft a variety of plants.


The materials presented in this course will enable the student to start plants from seeds and cuttings, in an amateur or professional setting and graft woody plants with a working understanding of the scientific underpinnings of the process. While we are working mostly with food plants, these techniques cross easily to ornamental plants.

Text for this course

Plant Propagation A to Z – Bryant; Firefly Books, 2003 It is readily available online or in the appropriate UCLA Bookstore. There will be many additional handouts from the instructor. Reading assignments in this syllabus are from this book only. Please note, The Grafter's Handbook – Garner; Cassell Publishing 2003, is no longer in print. This book (a blue cover) should you find it at a reasonable price, is a wonderful reference book for someone involved in grafting. The replacement text, Grafting and Budding – Alexander and Lewis; Landlinks Press, 2010, is not nearly as thorough and is a much less interesting book, although it does have some wonderful high quality photos, where Handbook had only black and white photos and line drawings. You win some... etc. Neither of these books are required. The Grafter's Handbook is being reprinted by Chelsea Green Publishing, but will not be available until March – too late for us.
All material for in class will be available online at Addtionaly, I invite all of you to join the group, Greener Gardens, on Facebook. Handouts are put there as well, and students use the group to contact one another – I also post other items of interest for you. I try to not have handouts in class to avoid wasting paper printing handouts you may not care to keep and using the internet allows us to use videos (especially of grafting) you may find helpful.

Class Meetings

To each class meeting, in addition to any note-taking tools you deem necessary (paper, camera, tape recorder etc), each student should bring propagation tools that will be described in our first class meeting; please don't purchase a lot of stuff until then. You will need pruners, a grafting knife, a regular pocket knife (or one knife with two blades for different purposes), a black, permanent Sharpie, a sharp pencil and a sturdy pair of gloves – leather preferred. If you are unsure of what to buy, buy NOTHING until after the first class meeting – we will not be using most of these items until later.


Your grade in this class is based on a checklist you will keep. You need to be able to perform each of the tasks on the log with sufficient skill and understanding of the process in order to receive a passing grade in this course. The completed checklist must be turned in the last day of class unless other arrangements have been made before hand with the instructor. Additional points (i.e. make up points) can be obtained by adding propagation notes to I reserve the right to administer quizzes throughout the course to insure comprehension. They will count in your participation score.

Instructor’s Office Hours

Please avail yourself of my willingness to meet with you at any time to discuss your progress in the course or to clarify instructional material or to answer any difficulties you are having. My preference is to meet with you at my office at The Learning Garden where we can cover material without distraction but I am willing to meet with students anytime, anywhere to assist you in learning; after all, that is the point your taking the class and my teaching it. It is my wish that all students learn and are profited by their enrollment in this course. Do not struggle; I am here to help.

At The Learning Garden:

Remember its location.
I’m very serious... So far only two students have had to have emergency medical treatment. I don't like adding to that number. It's hard enough to get students without killing them off.

A garden is filled with uneven surfaces, rocks, plants with thorns and other armaments and an infinity of possibilities for injury; most of the time in this course we will be using very sharp tools which deserve your utmost attention at all times, please give due attention and consideration of this. Remain on pathways and do not walk into planted beds unless it is absolutely necessary. Do not pick anything without permission.

Food and drink are allowed, but the removal of any trash or waste is entirely incumbent on the eator and/or drinkor. I hold you responsible.

We will probably have hot tea and coffee to mitigate the cool weather we anticipate needing to endure. Bring your own cup or mug and any eating utensils you feel you need. I drink it black – if you want sugar or cream, it's on you.

Appropriate clothing is essential. Remember, Venice can be hot and cold by turns. Layering is suggested; a jacket or sweater close at hand is essential. We will meet regardless of weather. If it is a light rain/mist, we will continue work. If it is a gully-washer (as though we get those in Southern California), we will meet in a classroom and carry on.

Point Assignment

For Credit Students. It is more important to me that you learn the material above all other considerations. I will endeavor through point assignment, lecture and demonstration to teach you in a way that will facilitate learning the material. If you aren’t understanding, please allow me to help you.

Tools You Will Need

Each student shall provide:

Pair of pruners – secateur type, like Felco #2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 or 13. No anvil pruners allowed EXCEPT for those students with hand pain or arthritis that must use the ratcheting type of pruners. Felcos can be bought on the internet (eBay) for much less than most local sources; I am also a Felco distributor and carry several models at a very competitive price. Coronas and other secateur pruners are OK, although if you have ever used Felcos, you appreciate why I am so fond of them.

Pruning knife – only used for plants. It is suggested that everyone also have a second knife for all the other needs in a garden. If one does not plan on doing a great deal of propagation needing a sharp knife, an inexpensive knife with break-away blades available from many local stores may be used. Grafting knives and horticultural knives are also found for reasonable amounts on eBay and other internet connections; I also have a selection of inexpensive pruning knives from Swiss Army. No one should feel pressured to buy my items – I only have them because they can be hard to find locally and often all you can find are the really expensive Felcos which you don't need.

Pair of gloves – leather is preferred, some folks like to have more than one.

Sharpie – fine point, only black will not wash off

Pencil sharp, wooden (the Learning Garden does have a sharpener)

You will need to take notes, so paper is necessary – may I suggest you take notes in pencil because it won’t run if it gets wet and a pencil is a wonderful small dibber in a pinch.

The Garden (or instructor) will provide as needed:
Cactus mix and potting soil
Watering devices
Root stimulating gel
Other tools and supplies as needed
Oil, sharpening devices, cleaners and rags for pruner and knife maintenance
Alcohol wipes, Listerine and hand soap.
Plant material/seeds
First aid kit
Plant markers

If you forget your pruners or knife, I do have a few of each, and while I do have gloves, a pair that fits your hand is preferred (and a pair of gloves are somewhat personal too). I can sharpen your pruners and we will learn how in this course.

Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, tools etc. Tour Garden. Tool selection and care. Sexual and asexual propagation defined. Introduction to the different propagation. Botany as applied to propagation. Planting mediums.
Demonstration: Cutting scions for the exchange
Practical: Harvesting scionwood
Lecture: Meristematic tissue and the principles of propagation by cuttings; Pages 92-113; soil mixes for propagation
Demonstration: Different kinds of cuttings
Practical: Making more cuttings
Lecture: General Propagation Methods and Application; Pages 47-91; pests and diseases and methodology to deal with them.
Demonstration: Division of perennials
Practical: Dividing perennial plants
Field Trip to California Rare Fruit Grower
Lecture: Biology of Grafting, reasons to graft and history; tools of the trade; SAFETY
Demonstration: A graft
Practical: Grafting an apple or other stone fruit
Lecture: More grafting andpossibilities/Budding
Demonstration: Another graft & budding
Practical: More grafting

Lecture: California Native Propagation
Demonstration: Fire scarification of a California native
Practical: Transplanting seedlings
Lecture: Seeds, structure, germination and viability, collection, storage. Propagation, pages 47-74; seed starting problems and their solution.
Demonstration: Scarification/Seed sowing
Practical: Sowing seeds of different sizes
Lecture: Propagating ornamentals; Katarina Ericksen
Demonstration: Ornamental propagation
Practical: Propagating something unusual.
Lecture: Covering all things left uncovered.
Demonstration: As dictated by circumstances.
Practical: Work on your checklist. (Student evaluation of instructor…)  FINISHING REQUIREMENTS FOR CREDIT STUDENTS

Our Class Meeting Locations

The Learning Garden

13000 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
310.722.3656 (my cell)
The Garden is located on the south east corner of Walgrove Avenue and Venice Blvd. It is the first gate on Walgrove south of Venice – there is a small amount of parking inside the gate, there is no other secured parking, other than those few spaces, you are on the street and on your own. DO NOT PARK ON THE CAMPUS PROPER.

California Rare Fruit Growers, West Los Angeles Chapter

Scion Exchange meeting on February 9th, 10:00 AM, Star Education, 10117 Jefferson Boulevard  Culver City, CA 90232

Tool Suppliers:
Search online at eBay and other buying services, but the following companies, in addition to myself, reliably have the tools you need and prices that are competitive.
A.M. Leonard (AKA The Gardeners Edge) They have everything and they make good house brands of knives and pruners.
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply Felco and Corona pruners, inexpensive Swiss Army grafting knives. A good choice.
Scoring For Grading in This Class

Class Participation

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