Plants for Free
By Andrew Maloy
Published by Shoal Bay Press, Auckland, New Zealand, 1992
Reviewed by Jean Veal
For the beginner student
in horticulture or keen hobbyist with a basic knowledge of plants,
this small but comprehensive book is easy to follow and the diagrams
are appropriate and clear.
In his introduction Mr
Maloy lists the reasons for plant nomenclature and its importance.
He also lists the advantages and disadvantages of both seed and
Directions are given
for the hygienic preparation of implements and utensils, a subject
Seed and potting mixes
are discussed and correct storage methods detailed; fertilisers
In the chapter on seeds,
rather than the method of watering suggested on p. 22, adequate
watering and drainage of containers before sowing precludes 'flooding'.
Perhaps fuller directions
and precautions for using fungicides could have been given at this
A most important chapter
on cuttings follows. All steps from gathering material to potting
on are well researched and presented. However, more information
would have been welcome on raising cuttings in the garden. This
works for many plants without the expense of potting mix, misting
and heating. The only reference is a brief one on p. 30.
In the section on grafting
and budding, a wider explanation and more examples of non-compatibility
would not have gone amiss. The text and diagrams are encouragement
to 'give it a go' and, as Mr Maloy implies, 'practice makes perfect'.
The various methods of
layering and division are well explained. To try bulb scaling or
scooping is a challenge.
Ferns are too often neglected
in books on propagation. Mr Maloy's coverage is welcome. Their life
cycle is simply explained. Today ferns are popular and it is to
this section many readers will turn.
to "Mother Nature" in the text are irritating why not just
Mr Maloy has devoted
a lot of time and effort to this book; the contents are instructive
and the diagrams excellent. I would recommend it to all plantspeople.
in New Zealand: Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
1993 4(1): 11-12
from Touchwood Books
Reviews Main Page