How this book is arranged

The concept and approach in this book is entirely my own, based on my experience gained over the past 20 years evolving different systems of plant propagation and teaching both horticultural students and amateur gardeners.

My aim has been to try to present propagation techniques in their logical sequence, in seven separate sections. For example, I have placed layering in the same section as stem cuttings as they are both ways of inducing roots on a stem. Until now, plant propagation has often been presented in a confusing manner: root, stem and leaf cuttings have frequently been lumped together, when logically there is little or no relationship between them.

The book starts with a glossary of propagation terms that the gardener may not know. Although the main text is written in a nontechnical style, some technical terms have inevitably been included, and it is to the

; f glossary that the gardener should refer if he is puzzled by the use of a certain word.

The section on tools and equipment is essential reading before the gardener sets out to do any propagating. Here he will find explained the importance of cold frames, propagators, mist units, etc., and he will discover tips on how to select suitable pots and seed trays from the bewildering array that is available. The correct use of composts, fertilizers and rooting hormones is also discussed, and he will learn how to tackle the ubiquitous problems of pests and diseases.

The section on propagating from seeds is divided into two parts: seeds in general, and tree and shrub seeds, where the problems of dormancy are explained. The information on how to collect, store and germinate various kinds of seeds and how to look after seedlings is of vital importance to any gardener.

The book then presents a wide range of ways to propagate vegetatively. It starts with a section on roots and progresses through to sections on modified stems, stems and leaves. The last section gives full details on grafting and budding techniques, and there is a comprehensive index at the back of the book.

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