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23 January, 2008

A Bibliography for Plant Propagation

As promised - in alphabetical order...

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties, Deppe, Carol, ©2000, A plant breeder with a science degree and avid gardener all rolled into one, Deppe knows her stuff.. This is a lighter read than that makes it sound, but it is firmly into the science of plant breeding and she doesn’t dumb it down. A good and thorough book even if not light reading.

Creative Propagation; A Grower’s Guide, Thompson, Peter, ©1989, Timber Press, Not nearly as exhaustive as other books presented here, but if you are short on change and can only get one book this one has a lot to recommend it. Thompson covers all of it but perhaps not to the depth of other books, so it’s small and makes good reading for the attentionally challenged.

Making More Plants, Druse, Ken, ©2000, Clarkson Potter Publishing Part coffee table photo book and part text, the beauty of this book does not detract from the science it disseminates. It also could have been the text for this course, but all that delicious art work makes for an expensive book, and I am loathe to require expensive books and it lacks the extensive lists that I think make the A-Z book so valuable. However, if you have the extra moola lying around, this is a gorgeous, to drool for book and it is no slouch in details either. Druse is a knowledgeable writer who is adept at presentation and he’s made a yummy book

Plant Propagation A to Z, Growing Plants for Free, Bryant, Geoff © 2003 Firefly Books, Probably the best organized and most concise of the books presented here. I find the charts especially helpful and I like the clean easiness of the whole thing. I suggest, if you intend on propagating a lot of plants, get it in hardbound.

Plant Propagation, Browse, Philip McMillan, ©1999, Octopus Publishing, Both this book and The Grafter’s Handbook bear the stamp of the Royal Horticultural Society, and both live up to the rigors of that group’s high standards. Like ‘Grafter’s’ it has those Englishisms, but also like ‘Grafter’s’ it is full of a wealth of information.

Seed Propagation of Native California Plants, Emery, Dara, ©1988, Santa Barbara Botanical Garden The only book I know on the growing of most California Native Plants from Seed. If going native is your bag, this is your book

Seed to Seed,
Ashworth, Suzanne ©2002, Seed Savers Exchange Primarily concerned about saving seed more than planting it, this book is a wonderful introduction to the subject. The author is concerned primarily with heirloom vegetable varieties not being lost and that is the focus of the book, but the lessons she presents so eloquently are universal in dealing with any seeds. The only thing I dislike is the book’s organization by plant family which can make finding the information you want NOW a little more abstract than it needs to be.

The Complete Book of Plant Propagation, Clarke, Graham, et al, ©`992, Cassell Paperbacks A British offering and has a great little section on history of plant propagation, which is nice if you like that sort of thing – divides all plants into hardy and tender for referencing which can be arbitrary and less than helpful, but otherwise well written and illustrated. Could have just as easily been the text for the course if it had been available hardbound. (It is my conceit that all reference books have to come hardbound – they last longer.)

The Grafter’s Handbook, Garner, R. J. ©1988, Distributed in the US by Sterling Publishing First published in 1947, this book has stood the test of time. While there are some little British oddities with the English language that can confuse a little, the illustrations and the enthusiasm of the author are wonderfully clear and inspirational. This book is golden.

The Grape Grower, Rombough, Lon, ©2002, Chelsea Green Publishing If grapes are what you want to propagate, this is the definitive book on grape culture and has chapters on propagation and breeding your own grapes. A concisely written text that is a delight to read or browse.

The Home Orchard, University of California Press, ©2007, Though not really a propagation book, it has a marvelous discussion of grafting and is a one of the many really remarkable horticulture books coming out of UC’s ANR. If you are into fruit trees, this book belongs on your shelf in a handy spot.

The New Seed Starter’s Handbook, Bubel, Nancy, ©1988, Rodale Press If you want to grow from seed, this is THE authoritative text on the subject. None better, even if it’s getting a little old. I found mine for $3 or so on a throwaway shelf at Borders. It is the best three bucks I’ve ever spent.

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