Work experience in a nursery

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WORK EXPERIENCE. DAY 2
Place: Nursery
People:
Tools: secateurs, Knife, plastic bags, water spray, 1L pots, cuttings mix (perlite-coir), glass mats, sinergol (1:9).
Task 1: Propagation of rhododendron by cuttings.
In autumn is when the collection of rhododendron takes place (semi –ripe material). In RBGE there is a reserve of this specie that allows its conservation, and replace the onesin the garden if is needed.
We went to the garden to collect specifics species of rhododendron. We had a list with the names of those that we needed and the location. The specie is defined by the qualifier number (letter), and the accession number (numbers). The location is indicated by a number which is behind the label of the plants.
In the bed C9 of the RBGE, we took cuttings of differentrhododendron as R. brachicarpum, R. degronianum, R. vernisosum. We took from 15 to 20 cuttings per plant. The samples were taken from the top of the stem. This is the youngest part, and can be recognized for the color. The part of the stem grown in the last year is green, while the older ones are brown. From node to node you can difference the parts grown in different years.
Once we took thecuttings we kept them in a transparent plastic bag, where we sprayed some water to keep them moisture. We put as well a correspondent label with the name, qualifier and accession number. They were transported to the nursery.
In the nursery we planted the cuttings. To do it, we used a 1L pots. They were cleaned and filled with a 50%-50% mix of perlita and coir. This mix is moist enough and it has airand space that allows the root growth.
In a glass mat and with a Knife, we prepared the basal cuttings. We cut the top of the stem. From the last node to the stem tip. The cut has to be clean, straight and just under the node where all growth hormones are concentrated. Then we cut most of the leaves, leaving only two or three on the top. When they are very big, we could cut them in a half toreduce the transpiration area. If there was some flower on the stem tip, we had to cut it too. In this way the plant can use its energy in root growth instead of flower developing.
Before to plant the cuttings they were side wounded on the base and wet in a growth regulator called synergol. In this case we used a soft solution 1:9.
We planted six or seven cuttings per pot, and they were leaved inthe fug unit.
All the information was recorded in the BG Base.

Task 2: Weeding the rhododendron frame.
When the cuttings are successfully developed, eventually are transplanted to the rhododendron frame (located in area 4 of the map). This plot has to be weeding by hand at least four or five times per year.
We were taking away Equisetum and Allium which are perennials, and the annuals Meadow(Poa annual), Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsute) and Epilobium ciliatum. Equisetum has long roots, so is very important to remove the roots carefully, trying to catch all of them. We had to separate this perennials from the rest of the weeds, and they were put in the perennial weed heap (located in E20) where will dry until we make sure that they are dead. In this way we avoid theirpropagation.
The rest of the annual weeds were put in the same area (E20), but in this case in the compost heap.

WORK EXPERIENCE. DAY 3
Place: Nursery
People:
Tools: secateurs, Knife, plastic bags, water spray, 1L pots, cuttings mix (perlite-coir), glass mats, sinergol (1:9).
Task 1: Propagation of rhododendron by cuttings.
We were doing the same work that the day before, using exactly the sametechnique.
In this case we were taking cuttings from the beds C12, C14 and C16 in the RBGE. Some of the species were R. degronianum, R. smirnowii, R. planetum and R. sanguineum.
We found some samples with indumentum that we had to take away with the help of the knife, to facilitate growth of roots.
We can show from this day an example of a cutting before and after to prepare it.
Pictures...
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