Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Free plants, mossy paths

The weather has been pleasantly cool and cloudy this week, so I took advantage of it and got back out into the garden to do some much-overdue weeding and clean up. In the process of pulling dandelions and chickweed, I realized that some of the weeds I was about to uproot were actually stray seedlings of my Butterfly Bush, which I had let go to seed this year.

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I will admit to being pretty excited about this discovery. I have had no luck in propagating several of my plants from cuttings, for whatever reason. But growing from seed seems to be working, as I also found Nandina (below) coming up as well, from seed I had cleaned and sown 2 years ago. I have so many butterfly bush seedlings coming up, I will probably pot a few up next spring and give to friends. A few I’ll keep and spread around the garden.

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Then as I moved around to another section of the garden, I decided to pull up some landscape fabric I had put down back in the spring, when I had planned to put in gravel and stepping stones in the paths I had cleared. I never got around to finishing that project, so the fabric remained in place. As I pulled up the fabric, I found a nice carpet of moss had grown everywhere under it. This just might solve my dilemma of what to use for a pathway around the garden!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Propagation by cuttings, take 2

After several failed attempts at propagating cuttings of various shrubs in my garden the old fashioned way, I decided to try a new product I saw on the Territorial Seed Company™ website, called Gel2Root™. It looks like a package of clear pudding or jello. You puncture a small hole in the lid, and insert a softwood cutting down into it, and the gel inside acts as both water and fertilizer. Then place the gel w/ cutting in bright but indirect light and within a few weeks, supposedly you have a new plant growing.

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I’m testing the gel with cuttings of gardenia, rosemary, witch alder, and wiegela. I’m probably pushing my luck with the wiegela and witch alder cuttings as those were almost semi-hardwood cuttings when I put them in, but I’m more into shrubs than perennials and thought I’d give it a try anyway.

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