20 March, 2008

Field Trip to Theodore Payne Foundation

Directions to the Theodore Payne Foundation

If you’ve never been, allow yourself some time, getting here can be a bit of a challenge. It’s not like you’re trying to find the Mall of America; this is a little place down at the end of a dirt road. Literally!

Theodore Payne Foundation
10459 Tuxford St
Sun Valley, CA 91352-2126

Mapquest map here.

From the 5 Northbound
Exit Sunland Blvd. (in Sun Valley)
Go right (North) on Sunland Blvd.
Go right at La Tuna Canyon, one block
Go left on Wheatland, one block
Go right on Tuxford, 200 meters
Go left at the TPF sign and up the dirt road

From the 5 Southbound
Exit Sunland Blvd. (in Sun Valley)
Go left (North) on Sunland Blvd.
Go right at La Tuna Canyon, one block
Go left on Wheatland, one block
Go right on Tuxford, 200 meters
Go left at the TPF sign and up the dirt road

We will meet in the Foundation Parking lot at 9:00 AM – if anyone wants to carpool, RSVP and I’ll meet you in The Learning Garden parking area at 8:00. Otherwise, without an RSVP, I'll just meet everyone at TPF.

Dress comfortably for walking (the nursery is on a hill and there is a fair amount of walking), and for whatever the weather should be. This is out in Sunland, the far east end of the San Fernando Valley, and can be hotter than hell and colder than Hades by turns.

I don’t know as you’ll need them, but it might be best if you brought your pruners for doing cuttings.

And, as always, I'll be on my cell.


PS - Bring your finished plant propagation records!

10 March, 2008

Next Two Classes: What Haven't You Learned Yet?

My contract with all my students is that I teach them things they need or want to know. In the context of plant propagation, if I have not taught you what you want to know, please email me at once and I will endeavor to cover it to your satisfaction in the next two class meetings.

For this coming Saturday, it is my intention to lecture/demonstrate for about 1.5 hours on home tissue culture. I will then take 30 minutes to an hour to cover anything I haven't gotten to that you want me to. You will have ample time then to practice 'home' tissue culture. If you have grafting/budding or any other propagation to do, you will have to complete it this Saturday as we are off Theodore Payne for our last class meeting on the 22nd! (I'm willing to carpool again on our field trip if anyone is interested.)

You should be pretty much ready to turn in a COMPLETED checklist with all your finished projects ticked off. Grading for this class is from a completed checklist and your participation in class. Sometimes a student's attitude will be reflected in a grade, but if that happened with this class it would only serve to raise it! Other than the attempted finger amputation, you guys are great!

So... email me your requests - and please, do it sooner than later so I can work up a more comprehensive lecture. Also, remember this is the Mayor's Day of Service and there will be lots of activity around us. We shall remain the calm in the eye of the storm and continue on with class.


07 March, 2008

Saddle Graft Tomorrow

Saturday, the 6th, we will be doing a saddle graft using apple rootstock I have purchased. If you have any apple scion wood from the scion wood exchange, please bring it, otherwise you can use any of the apple stock The Learning Garden has.


The following wonderfully concise instruction can be found at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/grafting.html. The site discusses all types of common grafts.

Saddle Graft

Saddle grafting is a relatively easy technique to learn and once mastered can be performed quite rapidly. The stock may be either field-grown or potted. Both rootstock and scion should be the same diameter. For best results, use saddle grafting on dormant stock in mid- to late winter. Stock should not be more than 1 inch in diameter.

Preparing the Stock

Using two opposing upward strokes of the grafting knife, sever the top from the rootstock. The resulting cut should resemble an inverted V, with the surface of the cuts ranging from 1/2 to 1 inch long.

Preparing the Scion

Now reverse the technique to prepare the base of the scion. These cuts on the rootstock and scion must be the same length and have the same slope so that a maximum amount of cambial tissue will make contact when the two halves are joined.

Inserting the Scion

Place the V-notched scion onto the saddle of the rootstock. If rootstock and scion are the same diameter, cambial alignment is easier; otherwise adjust as needed.

Securing the Graft

Wrap the graft with a grafting twine, tape, or strip, then seal it with grafting wax or grafting paint.