Grenada Career and Technical Center Plant Sale

Horticulture students at the Grenada Career and Technical Center (GCTC) have been busy preparing for their annual Plant Sale.

Thirty-three students are enrolled in horticulture classes this year. These students spend much of their time studying horticulture methods in the classroom, and then they actually implement what they have learned during hands-on activities. Allison Ashmore, horticulture instructor, stated, “During the hands-on phase of our curriculum, students get to see plants grow, die, and then try again. We have raised plants this year through propagation and from seeds germinated in the greenhouses.”

The propagation method used by students consisted of cutting a good stalk from an existing plant, removing all flowers and the last two bottom leaves, then dipping the stem into rooting powder. After dipping the stem in the powder, students shook off the excess powder and placed the stem in soil. If the propagation was successful, then new roots formed in one to two weeks depending on the plant. As the new plants increased in size, students transferred them to bigger pots. All of the hanging baskets at the upcoming plant sale were raised strictly from propagation.

Other plants were germinated from seeds in the greenhouses. Students placed seeds in cell packs that had soil, then provided water, warmth, and sunlight. While performing seed germination, students learned that some seeds need a period of darkness prior to germination. The tropical butterfly weed plants for sale this year were all grown from seeds collected and germinated by students. Some of these seeds took a month to germinate.

Throughout the year, horticulture students complete other plant-related projects. They forced bulbs into bloom in the classroom during the winter to prove how spring bulbs can grow with only water and light. Students also learned to design wreaths and floral arrangements. Some students also volunteered at Camp McCain this year to help plant Legacy Trees. Others planted snapdragons and pansies in the back area of GCTC as part of a unit on landscape design.

Money from the annual plant sale is used to purchase supplies for the horticulture program such as ornaments, ribbons, small craft items, silk flowers, wreaths and containers. Other items purchased with proceeds include pots, soil, and seeds for use by students.

This year’s annual plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2011, from 8:00a.m. – 11:00a.m. at the Grenada Career and Technical Center greenhouses on Jackson Avenue.

Plants for sale will include:
• eggplant (Black Beauty and Fond May)
• squash
• tomatoes (Sugary Grape, Rutgers, and Better Boy)
• peppers (Bell, Cayenne, Sweet Summer and Banana)
• dill
• oregano
• sage
• cilantro
• rosemary
• pineapple sage
• tropical butterfly weed
• marigold
• Texas sage
• bonfire salvia
• cosmos
• Mexican sunflower
• impatiens
• Joe Pye weed
• purple coneflower
• celosia
• geranium
• begonia
• starlight zinnia
Other plants
• coleus
• mosquito plant
• polk salad
• cantaloupe
Hanging Baskets
• begonia
• impatiens
• airplane plant
• wandering jew
• sweet potato vine

Plan to come early as popular selections disappear early!

Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor