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Seeds sown, now on to cuttings July 2022!

All the seeds collected from December to May have now been sown. It took about 3 sessions to do this (for around 100 trays of seeds) – a lot quicker than the collecting and preparation! Mostly it was done during Friday morning sessions. If you want to know the process to be prepared for next season have a look at https://www.southlandcommunitynursery.org.nz/restoring-your-patch/get-growing/seeds/

It has all the tips and tricks for seed collecting – the timing, type of seed, colour when ripe and methods of preparation. We sow seeds now rather than keep them in the fridge to cold stratify them and when its time to come up they do that with mystifying regularity around the end of September. It is probably the day length, as well as temperature that is the trigger. Here at the Community Nursery we don’t try to force seeds to germinate in winter because we do not have the facilities to look after them if they do germinate, and we all need a rest in winter!

During July we have been be doing cuttings – another way of propagating plants if you haven’t managed to collect seed. There are advantages to growing from cuttings – the plants are much bigger when they get roots and the plant flowers much earlier – but it is a time-consuming process and you don’t get the genetic diversity that you do from seed sown plants. However, it is a very good skill to learn as it can be applied to many plants including fruit bushes. If we have time we will also learn about apple tree pruning as it is the right time of year to do that and the “scions” (the bits you cut off) can be kept to graft onto rootstock around October.

The process for propagating plants from cuttings can be found at https://www.southlandcommunitynursery.org.nz/restoring-your-patch/get-growing/cuttings/

Other jobs that have been going on at the nursery over the last month have been new track construction and gravelling, potting, weeding, plant moving and loading up for planting.

Chris