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09 January, 2009

Syllabus for Plant Propagation for Gardeners

COURSE SYLLABUS
Instructor: David King
Email: greenteach@roadrunner.com
Phone: >Redacted<

There are no prerequisites for this course, although some knowledge of basic botany would be extremely helpful. We meet on Sundays from January 11 through March 22 for 10 meetings, no meetings on January 18 and February 15. There are three Saturday field trips. I have not scheduled two of the field trips yet – I want to accommodate those students who have Saturday involvement’s with other classes.

One ‘field trip’ is scheduled beyond my control: we will all attend the WLA chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers meeting on February 14th, from 9:00 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!

One field trip will be to The Huntington. Those who desire, might want to make reservations as soon as we settle a date for the Huntington Tea Room as it is delightful and you’re there already. There will be one other field trip to Theodore Payne Foundation where California Native plants are propagated by the hundreds and we will work there to propagate some of those plants with their staff and volunteers; details will be hopefully finalized by the end of January.

All other meetings are field trips 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, 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 is, of course, is outside.

We will also be working with potting soils and cut plant material in almost every single class. 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.

Application
The materials presented in this course will enable the student to start plants from seeds and cuttings, in an amateur or professional setting and a working understanding of botany.

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.


Class Meetings

To each class, in addition to your text, handouts and any note-taking tools you deem necessary, each student should bring:
A ‘secateur’ type pruner (NOT an anvil pruner)
Gloves – leather are best
A grafting knife
A pencil, wooden – the kind you sharpen
A Sharpie Fine Point permanent marker – BLACK only!!
These items will be described in our first class meeting.

Exam
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.


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:

THE FIRST AID KIT IS LOCATED ON TOP OF THE refrigerator in my office
Remember its location.
I’m very serious...


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 – it’s common courtesy.

A garden and the plants do not talk; I feel responsible as their spokesperson and take that responsibility seriously. You may not abuse my plants.

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

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 or the greenhouse and will 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.
Checklist
75%
Class Participation
25%
TOTAL
100%


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, especially the number 5, can be bought on the internet (eBay) for much less than locally. Coronas are ok. If you have ever used Felcos, you will be able to appreciate why I am so in favor 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 may be used. Grafting knives and horticultural knives are also found for reasonable amounts on eBay and other internet connections.

Pair of gloves – leather is preferred.

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:
Cactus mix and potting soil to be used as needed
Watering devices
Pots
Root stimulating gel
Other tools and supplies as needed
Oil, sharpening devices, cleaners and rags for pruner and knife maintenance
Alcohol wipes 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 teach you how.

(Please note: following is a table in the original handout and tables can be nigh to impossible to translate to html - just remember that all data on one line in a table is translated into an up/down list segment and you'll be able to carefully translate the data to the correct column. Also note, at the time this is being posted, there is not a definite date/time for the field trip to the Huntington and Theodore Payne Foundation.)

Date
Mtg.
TOPIC
01/11
1
Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, tools etc. Tool selection and care. Sexual and asexual propagation defined. Introduction to the different forms of propagation. Botany as applied to propagation.
Demonstration: Working environment; Safety and tool use


01/18
MLK HOLIDAY


01/25
2
Lecture: Seeds, structure, germination and viability, collection, storage. Return to pages 47-74; seed starting problems and their solution.
Demonstration: Scarification/Seed sowing
Practical: Sowing seeds of different sizes


02/01
3
Lecture: General Propagation Methods and Application; Pages 47-113; pests and diseases and methodology to deal with them.
Demonstration: Division of perennials
Practical: Dividing perennial plants


02/08
4
Lecture: Meristematic tissue and the principles of propagation by cuttings; Return to pages 92-113
Demonstration: Different kinds of cuttings
Practical: Making cuttings


02/14
5
Field Trip to California Rare Fruit Growers


02/15
6
Lecture: Grafting and Budding
Demonstration: Saddle graft
Practical: Grafting and budding

02/15
HOLIDAY


02/22
7
Lecture: Grafting and other propagation techniques, Pages 75-91 and 114-123
Demonstration: Grafting a fruit tree
Practical: Graft a fruit tree


03/01
8
Lecture: Some of the odd-ducks of the propagation manual
Demonstration: Leaf propagation
Practical: Propagating something unusual.


03/08
9
Lecture: More difficult propagation
Demonstration: Fire scarification of a California native
Practical: Transplanting of seedlings


03/15
10
Lecture: Covering all things left uncovered.
Demonstration: As dictated by circumstances.
Practical: Work on your checklist.


TBA
11
Field Trip to The Huntington’s Propagation Area


TBA
12
Field Trip to Theodore Payne Foundation


03/22
13
(Student evaluation of instructor…) FINISHING REQUIREMENTS FOR CREDIT STUDENTS


Our Class Meeting Locations


Bring Your Knife and Pruners to ALL Classes!


The Learning Garden
13000 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
310.722.3656
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 your own.

The Huntington
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
626.405.2100

Theodore Payne Foundation
10459 Tuxford Street
Sun Valley, CA 91352
818.768.1802


California Rare Fruit Growers, West Los Angeles Chapter

Scion Exchange meeting on Feb. 14, 9:00 AM,
Ken Edwards Community Center
1527 Fourth St., Santa Monica, CA, 90404
310.458.8300

Parking can be an absolute bear here, arrive early and with quarters in hand. They ticket mercilessly, don’t let your meter run dry!!

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