Right now in your garden there are probably hundreds of new plants just waiting for you to bring them to life – for free. UCCE Mariposa Master Gardeners Helen Willoughby-Peck and Stephanie Means will lead two free hands-on workshops on planting seeds and starting plants from cuttings of existing plants. UCCE is the University of California Cooperative Extension.
This is the first of a two-part propagation program, and the second will be conducted in the spring. The workshops are free, but registration is requested so the leaders can prepare enough materials to give out. Register at http://cemariposa.ucanr.edu/ or call (209) 966-2417.
Participants should bring gloves and shears or sharp scissors for the hands-on portion of the class. Everyone will go home with a packet of seeds and a six-pack of started plants.
Some of the things you’ll learn about seeds are when and where to plant them, how deep they should be, whether they need light to germinate and why seeds give you more choices than purchased starter plants.
To propagate using plant material you’ll need to know where on the parent plant to make your cuts, what time of the year to do it, the plants that are the easiest to start from cuttings, what to do once you make the cuts, plus the importance of humidity, temperature, proper sanitation, when to transplant the babies and why you should try propagation.
The workshop will be on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Midpines Community Hall, 6364 A Highway 140, Midpines. On Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon, the workshop will be at Don Pedro Elementary School, 2411 Hidalgo Road, Don Pedro.
The Mariposa Master Gardener programs trains people in University of California-based research and methodology so they can help home gardeners with their gardening questions. Master Gardeners are volunteers and are overseen by the Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor.
The Mariposa garden question phone is (209) 966-7078; in the northern part of the county, the number is (209) 852-9711. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://cemariposa.ucanr.edu/Master_Gardener/Public_Workshops_for_the_Home_Gardener/.