At our May meeting we were lucky to hear two speakers discuss the benefits of plant propagation
Firstly, a very brief outline from Pam Adams on propagation, she handed out some notes on whip and tongue graft and a very handy chart on when and how to take cuttings from different groups of plants. Because time didn’t permit it would be really worthwhile to have Pam back soon to share her knowledge and expertise on grafting methods.
Our second speaker was Jo Wedgwood, again on plant propagation and worm farming.
Jo’ s property at Winters Flat when she bought it was just trees and bare garden. Today though it is to quote her “a well furnished garden”, evolving over the years by trial and error.
By propagating industriously and dividing and redividing she has created a low cost and delightful sanctuary. She likes to fill spaces with non invasive plants that grow well and then selectively replace many of these with more interesting varieties. She has also used raised beds and terracing to create space and varied structure in the garden. She develops both sun and shade spaces within her garden.
When propagating she buys in a large quantity of commercial potting mix and mixes this with river washed sand and her home compost. Pots also sit in trays to retain water, so that they are properly saturated to minimize air pockets in newly propagated cuttings. She makes sure there is a rich layer of soil/ compost at the bottom of each pot so that new seedlings and cuttings have a rich diet when their roots form. She does not use root powders or honey for new cuttings.
Jo presented many slides of her garden and discussed re the various species of how she divides them and when. She will peg down the plants with new runners to help them settle into the soil more easily so as not to be disturbed by wind etc.
Jo’s worm farm is home-made and sits raised on a shower base, which works very successfully. She gives the worms all the kitchen left overs and cardboard etc. but does not include onion and citrus. The resulting castings and worm tea are the only fertilizer she puts back into her soil.
A garden that I would encourage all our members to visit!
Notes: Judy Eastwood. Photo: Philip Hopley