Spring is in bloom and the planting season has officially sprouted.
But before you run off in a shopping frenzy that will have your wallet crying in protest, put May’s Advice to Grow By workshop on your calendar and refine your skills in plant propagation.
The Advice to Grow By workshops are held the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. until noon. Presented by the Master Gardeners, this lecture will take place in the Garden of the Seven Sisters at 2156 Sierra Way.
Propagation is an exciting process that allows you to create multiple plants from an existing plant. It runs from the conventional, such as seed germination and plant cuttings, to the more complicated skills of grafting and layering.
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This month's workshop will focus on propagation by asexual methods involving non-floral parts of the plant, such as the stems, leaves and roots. Some species can be readily propagated from hardwood cuttings of stems taken in late winter or early spring. These cuttings, which include several nodes (usually 6-12" of stem), are placed in the ground in nursery rows with just the top bud showing. The cuttings will generate roots and can be, after a year’s growth, transplanted as self sustaining plants. There are additional forms of asexual propagation by separation and division of tuberous roots and rhizomes.
Besides camaraderie, Saturday’s workshop will provide information on the best medium to grow and start plants, ways to facilitate growth and methods for creating a healthy environment for your plant.
Bring pen and paper and be prepared to get your questions answered. But make sure you’re comfortable with water, sunscreen and your most reliable folding chair. Dress for unpredictable weather.
When you’re through, you’ll be prepared to go forth and propagate – just make sure you get permission before you take cuttings from your neighbor’s plants. For more information about propagation, visit http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu.