Propagation I 100 Hours Certificate Course
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Propagation I 100 Hours Certificate Course
Propagation I course online. This is a foundation course in the Propagation plants. In this module you'll learn how to propagate plants and develop broad skills in this subject. Plants are propagated both sexually (from two parents eg. seed & spore) and asexually (from two parents eg. cuttings, grafting, layers, division). This course deals with the principles of propagation, and all of these methods; as well as materials and equipment. This is a module from the accredited RHS Diploma and provides credit toward IARC accredited diplomas offered by ADL.
"I learned lots of new things about plants and how to grow them, and I have gained a lot of confidence to try things out." Paula R, Propagation 1 BHT108,UK
Learning Goals: Propagation I BHT108
- Develop an understanding of the scientific principles of plant propagation and knowledge of production systems used in propagation nurseries
- Understand the factors that influence seed germination and the techniques used in seed propagation
- Understand the components of potting media used in propagating plants
- Understand the techniques used to take cuttings, and the efficiencies in cutting production
- Understand layering, division and other vegetative propagation techniques, and the role of stock plants in vegetative propagation
- Understand the techniques used in tissue culture and budding and grafting plants
- Understand the equipment used in propagating plants
- Understand the importance of nursery hygiene, the risks involved in plant propagation operations and the importance of safe working practices
- Explain plant modification techniques and management policies in nurseries
- To develop an understanding of nursery standards, cost efficiencies, and site planning, establishment and development
Lesson Structure: Propagation I BHT108
There are 10 lessons:
1 Introduction to Propagation
- Asexual and sexual propagation
- Aseptic Micropropagation, Runners, Suckers, Layering, Separation, Division, Grafting, Budding, Cuttings, Seed
- Genotype versus Phenotype
- Plant life cycles -phases of the sexual cycle; phases of the asexual cycle
- Annual, Perennial, Biennial Life Cycles
- Propagation Terminology
- Nursery production systems
- Operational Flow Chart for Seed Propagation
2 Seed Propagation
- Seed Sources
- Maintaining Genetic Identity of Seed -Isolation, Rogueing, Testing, Hand Pollination
- Hybrid Seed Production
- Storing Seed
- Types of Seed Storage
- Seed Biology -Endospermic, Non Endospermic
- Dormancy Factors Affecting Germination
- Germination Treatments -boiling water, stratification
- Seed Raising Technique
3 Potting Media
- Characteristics of Potting and Propagating Media
- Media derived from rock or stone
- Media derived from synthetics
- Organic Media
- Soil Media
- The UC System
- Chemical Charagteristics -eg. pH, Cation Exchange Capacity, Salinity, Conductivity
- Laboratory Testing of Media
- Physical Characteristics
- Potting Mixes
- Propagating Media
- Nutrition at the Propagation Stage
- Nutrition Management and Fertiliser Application
4 Vegetative Propagation I
- Reasons to propagate by cuttings
- Types -softwood, hardwood, semi hardwood, herbaceous
- Stem Cuttings, Tip, heel, nodal, basal
- Leaf and Leaf-bud cuttings
- Cane cuttings
- Root Cuttings
- Bulb Cuttings
- Hormone Treatments for Cutting Propagation
- Other Cutting Treatments; basal wounding, anti-transpirants, fungacides, disinfectants, mycorrhyza, etc
- Artificial Light for Propagation
- Cutting Propasgation Efficiency
- Rockwool Propagation
5 Vegetative Propagation II
- Care of stock plants
- Managing Watering
6 Vegetative Propagation III
- Budding and grafting
- Reasons for Grafting
- How a Graft forms
- Grafting Techniques; Types of Grafts
- What Plant to Graft on What
- Grafting Materials
- Root Grafting, Bench Grafting, Soft Tissue Grafting
- Establishing Rootstocks
- Tissue culture: Applications, Problems, Nutrient Media, Cleanliness, Growing Conditions
- Tissue Culture Procedures and Techniques
- Laboratory Requirements
- Biotech applications in Horticulture
7 Propagation Structures and Materials
- Growing in a Greenhouse
- Growing Structures: Types of Greenhouses, Cold Frames, Shadehouses
- Propagating equipment -Heaters, Bottom Heat, Misting, Light Control, Benches etc
- Managing a Greenhouse
8 Risk Management
- Nursery hygiene
- Risk assessment and management
- Safety -tools, equipment handling, electricity, etc
- Pest and Disease Management
- Environmental Problems and management
9 Nursery Management I
- Plant modification techniques
- Management policies
- Keeping Propagation Records
- Nursery Production Systems
10 Nursery Management II
- Nursery Standards: Cost Efficiency (Cost of Production, Profit, Sales Price), Quality Standards, Size Standards, Practical Exercise
- The Nursery Site: Size, Planning Restrictions, Site Characteristics, Location
- Designing Facilities in the Nursery: Administrative Offices, Circulation and Parking, Employee Facilities, Chemical Storage, Drainage Network, Production Areas, Storage Areas.
- Test soils to determine characteristics which would be valuable to management of any given soil in a horticultural situation
- Identify sandy loam, silty loam, and clay loam soils by feel; and pH testing by soil indicator; and relate to plant selection
- Identify and sow a range of different types of seeds, in different situations, in a way that will optimise successful propagation.
- Propagate a range of plants using different vegetative propagation techniques
- Pot up and provide after care for a range of propagated seedlings and cuttings.
- Plant a range of (different types) plant material.
- Maintain the desired growth type and habit for a range of plants.
- Identify significant woody plants including: Trees; Shrubs; Groundcover; & Conifers
- Identify a range of significant plant problems including pests, diseases and others.
- Identify a range of non woody and indoor plants of horticultural significance.
- Conduct a risk assessment of a horticultural workplace to determine safe working practices and select appropriate personal safety clothing and equipment.
- You will visit and contact various sites involved in propagation (real or virtual), including relevant workplaces. Through these visits the student will develop an awareness of workplaces and practical applications of the subject.
Excerpt From The Course
Hardwood sawdust (e.g. from Eucalypts) should be composted before use. Some softwood sawdust should never be used because of highly toxic chemicals they contain. Pinus radiata sawdust has been successful for short term growing without composting (e.g. for propagation but not for growing a 6 month crop).
Most sawdust will undergo decomposition while the plants are growing if not composted first, and throughout that process, the decomposing bacteria will draw on nitrogen from the nutrient solution leaving the plants with a lack of nitrogen. Coarse sawdust has been used successfully in potting soils in Australia; fine sawdust is used by hydroponic growers in Canada, though fine sawdust has displayed problems when used in potting mixes in Australia. Cation exchange capacity is good, but not as high as in peat.
Peat moss is dug from swampy ground in cool temperate climates. It is the partially decomposed remains of plants (mainly mosses and sedges). The specific characteristics of peat can vary from one deposit to another though the following generalisations can be made:
- Peat has a high water holding capacity.
- Sphagnum peat generally has better aeration when wet than sedge peat.
- They are not totally free of nutrients. Some peat has a lot more mineral salts in them than others.
- Black peat, which is more highly decomposed, is not suitable for propagation at all.
- Peat is always acidic (sometimes as low as 4.00)
- All peat has a high pH buffer capacity
- They have a high cation exchange capacity
- Peat repels water when it dries out. Be careful to never allow the surface of the media to become completely dry.
Peat is useful as an additive to potting media to raise the cation exchange capacity, particularly in run to waste systems, though it will bring micronutrients to the system which could upset the balance of micronutrients supplied in the fertilisers. Only coarse grade, high quality peat should be used in hydroponic culture.
Coconut fibre is produced from the fibrous outer husk of the coconut. It is very similar to peat except that it is a renewable resource and is generally not acidic or saline.
Conservation Issues - Peat Moss
Extraction of peat, which is a rapidly diminishing resource, from peatbogs or peat lands has over the past few years become a world-wide environmental concern. Peat bogs support wildlife that is often rare, within a fragile environment. The horticulture industry in some countries has relied on peat resources for many years (the cost of which is gradually increasing as supplies diminish and extraction methods become more and more costly) as additives to potting mix and propagation media. Coir fibre - a renewable resource made from coconut fibre is becoming more established as a viable alternative to peat moss, in many instances.
THE U.C. SYSTEM
"The U.C. System of soil mixes, soil and plant treatments and handling operations has been developed since 1941 by the Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Los Angeles, to practically eliminate diseases caused by those organisms and factors which involve the soil. Growers have generally found that they can produce better plants faster, easier, and more dependably by the U.C. system".
DISEASES among young plants are potentially a catastrophe. It is possible to grow plants for years, paying little attention to disease control, and have little trouble, however if you do get a disease problem, it can also destroy a large proportion of your stock in a very short space of time (even a day or two).
Disease can spread many different ways:
- By dipping cuttings in hormone or water
- Through irrigation or rain water
- Soil on the hose if it's dropped on the ground
- Soil on the bottom of pots/trays
- On tools, clothes, shoes and workers’ hands
- Contaminated soil mixes or pots
- Infected plant material
A major concept in the U.C. system is to avoid disease by recognising where it comes from and stopping it ever being introduced into the nursery!
The essence of the U.C. system might be summarised as follows:
1. Use a U.C. system type soil mix (see below).
2. Good drainage is provided. This allows for a proper balance between oxygen and water to be maintained in the root zone.
3. Leaching - to remove salt build ups and disease organisms from the soil.
4. Sterilising soil (making it free of disease and weed seeds).
5. Good water (free of disease).
6. Frequent light fertilising (to maintain nutrient levels and replace any nutrient lost by leaching).
7. Disease-free plant material.
8. Cleaning containers (pots, trays etc. are dipped in a chemical such as bleach to kill disease).
9. Sanitation (general cleanliness is practised; benches are washed with chemical, tools dipped, workers walk through foot wash to clean boots, wash hands before work, etc).
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