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Propagation BasicsBOOK REVIEWS

Propagation Basics

Steven Bradley
Hamlyn, distributed by Bookwise International

GROWING your own plants from seeds, cuttings or divisions is an integral part of gardening. It can save you an extraordinary amount of money each year, plus there's the satisfaction of being able to pass on extra plants to friends and family.

Propagation Basics takes a no-nonsense approach to tools, techniques and timing, with step-by-step illustrations for beginners. The importance of choosing the right seed-raising mixes and compost blends is discussed in depth, as are hormone rooting preparations, hygiene considerations, watering and fertilising requirements.

Propagation Basics also explains why some plants, such as variegated hybrids and sports, need to be grown from cuttings, whereas others can be raised from seed.

If you're a seasonal propagator, this book has lots of expert advice on grafting and layering, two of the more complex ways to breed plants.

All the major plant groups are covered, from annuals and perennials to bulbs, shrubs and trees. It also includes a useful directory of 100 easily propagated subjects, albeit written for English conditions.

Propagation Basics will pay for itself time and again, because not only does it tell you what to do, it helps diagnose and prevent problems along the way. The most useful chapter in the book deals with troubleshooting - and how to save your young plants when things go wrong because of attacks by pests, diseases and viruses.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 108, October 17-30, 2002, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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