After growing about 8000 tubestock for general plantings and the Seed Orchard at Frahns Farm in 2020-21, we decided to change tack a little for our second growing year to focus on species that are hard to propagate and not easily available from other nurseries. To this end we have tried propagating a greater range of native plants from seed as well as trying cuttings from twelve species of native plants found at Frahns Farm and nearby Kinchina Conservation Park.
The cuttings of species like the narrow-bell correa (Correa glabra var. turnbullii), gaunt rice-flower (Pimelea stricta) and turkey bush (Eremophila deserti) were placed in a cuttings frame, with automatic watering and under-heating in October. Of the twelve species, we have rooted cuttings from eight species, although numbers of successful cuttings from some are few. We will try with cuttings again in February/March which should be a more advantageous time of year for them to strike.
As well as the more difficult to propagate species, we are also growing a range of trees, shrubs, climbers, lilies, groundcovers and herbs, including a few that we have not grown before like Christmas bush (Bursaria spinosa), native lilac (Hardenbergia violacea), silver banksia (Banksia marginata), swamp wattle (Acacia retinodes), cotton fireweed (Senecio quadridentatus) and slender groundsel (Senecio glossanthus). The native lilacs are from seed collected by a neighbour at Frahns Farm in about 1993 and amazingly germination has been good after nearly 30 years!
The photo below shows a tray of native dock (Rumex brownii) pricked out by a volunteer in November 2021 and growing strongly. These will be planted out in the general plantings in June 2022 – the first time this species has been a part of our revegetation effort at Frahns Farm.
A wonderful team has been helping with a range of activities in the nursery, from sterilising tubes and trays to filling tubes with potting mix and planting of seeds and pricking out. Many thanks to the willing band of helpers – Nigel, Jackie, Loraine, Betty, Joan, Barb and Sandy.
Penny Paton, Nursery Manager