International Plant Propagators Society's Western Region Annual Meeting

Sept.23rd-26th,the International Plant Propagators Society Western Region will have it’s 56th annual meeting,in Modesto,CA.Another grower from GW went to one in Georgia I believe,last year and told me about this society.
I’m planning on going.There will be guest speakers and a few tours to nearby nurseries,including Dave Wilson and Zaiger Genetics,along with a couple of plant labs. Brady

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You can be the official mole. lots of pics and notes please.

Right on.There should be a lot of info to bring back. Brady

Okay,I’m sitting here in LAX airport,waiting for a flight in four hours to Atlanta and then on to Charleston,SC to see my sister.So,I have some time to update the IPPS meeting which concluded on Saturday.
First of all,I want to say,these guys are a dedicated group,just like the people on this forum.Most work for nurseries or universities,which I think these conferences are geared for and some businesses probably send their employees as a perk and to get a little info.
The package I bought had two tour days,Thursday and Friday. There was another one on Wednesday, which cost another $100,which I thought was a little high and should probably have been included in the price I paid,but I don’t know what these cost to set up.
The first tour day for me,we went to a nursery,Westurf,which was nothing special,other than it was the only one in the area.After that,the buses went to Dave Wilson Nursery,with Tom Spellman on ours,being the guide.I really didn’t take a lot of pictures,as previously thought.Everybody has seen acres of trees,right?The buses slowly drove through parts of the place as Tom spoke.Next was Zaiger’s Genetics.Tom Spellman said,we are going to impressed by the simplicity of the operation there and that was pretty accurate.The place is basically run by Floyd Zaiger’s daughter and two sons.All the plants that are used for seed and pollen are kept in sawed plastic barrels so they can be moved in and out of storage to manipulate bloom times.Some of the trees were in the same containers for twenty years,but the average is about four.We were treated to a few stone fruits,at a table,which included some kind of unnamed Cherry/Plum which tasted good.The final stop this day,was Generation Growers,a nursery started in 1956 and carried on by the founder’s son.They grow plants for garden centers and include a lot of citrus.Some of the original devices and procedures are still being used.We ate lunch there.
I’ll add more later,Brady

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I’d be interested in hearing more about the plants in plastic barrels. Did you take any pics? What kind of growing medium were they using?

No,I didn’t get any photos of the trees in containers,Scott and am not sure of the growing medium.But that leads me into the next part of the program,Duarte Nursery.Friday morning,we first went to Harris Moran Seed Company,which I think now is called HM Clause Harris Moran.It was an interesting place,an old Ferry Morse plant.We took a tour from where some seeds were propagated,checked for fungus and diseases,sorted,washed,packed and stored.The next place was Dry Creek labs,which is a part of and attached to Duarte Nursery.We had to stay behind glass,because of possible contamination.Then,we went out into the nursery grounds and walked through a few greenhouses and there were a lot of them.At the hotel conference room,there were speakers every day and Michael Vietti,from Duarte,talked about the mix that is used in their pots and that’s all they do,no bare root.The mix is 50% Coir,40% Peat moss and 10% Rice hulls.The Rice hulls are used,because they are cheaper than Perlite.I think they used Conifer bark at one time(Pine or Fir)but he said they will never go back.They did experimentation and found the 50/40/10 ratio works best for them.The thing is though,Coir can have salts,mostly Potassium and Phosphorus in it and needs to be washed and buffered before being used.Their nursery uses Calcium Nitrate to buffer.I read online that Calmag and some other things are used also.I have used Coir in the past,in pots,but now that I know a specific mix,I’m going to experiment with that.Michael said,it may be available to get washed Coir,but they process it themselves.We went to the Duarte Ranch Vineyard and Fruit Tree Plantation for the final stop and had lunch.
More coming.Brady

Yes, bricks of coir without the salts is sold. It’s one of the anchoring mediums often used in hydroponic growing.

Thanks Muddy,I’m planning to try some next year.
The speakers and topics at the conference were varied and international.The first two were from Kuwait and Micronesia.The first was about propagating Palms by tissue culture and next,the plant propagation practices in the Micronesian region.But these guys might have just as well been speaking in their native languages,as the speaker system was not very clear and sometimes sounded like it was brewing coffee.The PowerPoint setup also had a few bugs at that time.
After working out the kinks and switching to a headset type speaker,Michael Vietti from Duarte Nursery talked about the Coir mix that I previously wrote on.
There was an engineering geologist that had some ideas about saving water in California,like diverting the storm runoff instead of letting it run into the bays and ocean and a university professor who has been doing research using sand particles,called slow sands,to filter and clean water runoff.
Also,Dr Kendall Ash,from Duarte Nursery,gave a detailed explanation of their nursery’s attempts at keeping things clean and disease free,from using disinfecting chlorine foam,that is used in dairy parlors and that sticks on walls,to using ozone successfully overnight to stop fungus growth in a room.After learning about the painstaking practices they go through,I’d not hesitate to buy a plant with their label.
I’m trying to add a few pictures,but the transfer software from phone to computer isn’t working right now. Brady

Okay here are a few photos.Brady

Dry Creek Labs,Duarte Nursery-doing tissue culture

Greenhouses at Duarte Nursery-many rows of these

Tasting tables at Zaiger’s

Rows of Citrus at Generation Growers

Germinating seeds at HM Clause Moran Seeds

Seed sorting machine

Part of the packing process

Cold storage room for seeds-seemed a lot cooler than 55F in there