Plant Propagation Correspondence Course -How to grow plants from seed
- Study seed anatomy, physiology and practical seed propagation techniques
- Learn more about a passion or develop valuable skills for a career in the nursery industry
- Expert tutors with decades of industry experience
- Course developed a team led by John Mason, fellow of the Institute of Horticulture, and author of the classic text, Nursery management, published by Landlinks Press (CSIRO)
This course assumes general foundation knowledge of plant propagation. For those with industry or significant amateur experience, the course may contain some sections that are little more than revision, but for anyone with minimal or no knowledge of seed propagation, some additional reading may be required in parts in order to gain optimum benefit from the course.
There are nine lessons in this module as outlined below
- Introduction - scope, open ground propagation, controlled environment propagation
- Seed Botany - anatomy and physiology, pollination, hybridisation, genetic purity, etc.
- Seed Sources - selection, collection, timing, wild collecting
- Seed Storage - treatments; cleaning, drying, storage, disease control, germination testing
- Dormancy - and breaking dormancy
- Germinating Annuals, Perennials and Vegetables
- Propagating selected Woody Species
- Direct Seeding - grasses, woody species, revegetation projects, etc.
- Seedling Management
Duration: 100 hours
- Discuss the nature and scope of commercial seed propagation.
- Explain the botanical characteristics of seed and the processes that occur when a seed germinates.
- Determine appropriate procedures for harvesting different seeds in different situations.
- Determine appropriate treatments for different types of seeds following harvest in order to sustain viability.
- Determine appropriate treatments for breaking dormancy in order to initiate germination with a range of different seeds.
- Determine how to sow and germinate seed of commonly grown herbaceous plants including vegetables, annuals and perennials.
- Determine appropriate propagation techniques for a range of woody plants including trees, shrubs, ground covers and climbers.
- Determine propagation and plant establishment strategies for developing a variety of different types of plantings through direct seeding onto sites where germinated plants will remain permanently in the position where the seed germinates.
- Manage germinated seedlings as they develop in a way that will optimise the survival rate.
Introduction to Seed Propagation
The two main methods of seedling propagation are:
Direct sowing - seeds are sown (by hand or machine) into individual pots, planting trays or planting cells (trays with many individual cells that are usually tapered slightly to aid and improve root formation).
Broadcast sowing - the seed is onto the trays randomly then 'pricked out' as seedlings into individual pots, cells or planting trays when they are large enough to handle.
The direct sowing method is the best approach (if possible), as it produces stronger seedlings and a much stronger natural root system. The advantage of direct sowing is that the natural root system:
The broadcast method requires the 'pricking out' of seedlings. This method can create problems such as constricted or coiled root systems that can result in J-rooting (curled roots in the planting hole) causing instability (wind-throw), and stress caused by transplanting, resulting in poor or uneven growth.
- Commercial trees for forestry, fruit trees, ornamental trees etc are best planted by the direct sowing method.
- Vegetables and colourful annuals and perennials are often sown using the broadcast method and later pricked out into individual pots or communal containers (punnets) of up to 12 per container.
- Seedlings produced in the open ground are later often sold 'bare-rooted', this includes species such as fruit tree root stock, rose root stock and other root stock used for ornamental trees etc. The seeds are usually sown into a seed-lot in quite large numbers.
- Seedlings of pine trees are also produced in the open-ground and are later sold with a small amount of soil on the roots (but virtually bare-rooted).
- Field grown seedlings are also dug-up during the dormant season with the root ball and surrounding soil and then wrapped in jute - this is also known as 'bagged in burlap' stock.
- Seedlings propagated in cell trays (ranging in size from 40 to 200 a tray), or individual pots are grown in potting media and sold as soon as they are of a certain size - but not so large as to have constricted root systems. Some forestry plants and re-vegetation seedlings are (usually) best grown in cell trays (eg. eucalypts and acacias). Seedling is often automated (vacuum seeding) - this process usually ensures a uniformity of quality and size of the seedlings that are produced.
- Plants are also sown into individual pots (a more costly option per plant) to meet the demands of specific buyers such as smaller re-vegetation programs (requiring mixed species), local government, or smaller re-sellers.
ACS operates a student bookshop that supplies a range of horticulture texts to supplement our courses.
Many are written by the principal (well known gardening author John Mason), or other staff. All have been reviewed and approved by our academic experts (to be accurate and relevant to students studying our horticulture courses).
- Student discounts are available to anyone studying with ACS Distance Education.
- Both printed books and ebooks (as downloads) available
GARDEN DESIGN Part I by John Mason (publisher ACS) EBook
GARDEN DESIGN Part 2 by John Mason (publisher ACS) EBook
GROWING TREES and SHRUBS for SMALL GARDENS by John MasonTROPICAL and WARM CLIMATE GARDENING
by John Mason (publisher Bay Books) Printed Book
ORCHIDS: A BEGINNERS GUIDE by John Mason (publisher: Highland House) Printed Book
GROWING CONIFERS by John Mason (publisher: Kangaroo Press) Printed book
by John Mason (publisher: Kangaroo Press) Printed book
NURSERY MANAGEMENT 2nd Edition by John Mason (publisher :andlinks Press) Printed Book
GROWING AUSTRALIAN NATIVES 2nd edition Printed Book
COMMERCIAL HYDROPONICS 3rd Edition by John Mason (publisher: ACS) Ebook
- Click on above link for info
- Sample pages available to download for all ebook
- E Books can be purchased online for immediate download (Can be read on a computer, ipad, iphone, lap top, most book readers or similar devices).
- GO TO www.acsbookshop.com for more titles