July 25, 2014

Fun Gardening, Cooking and Craft videos!

OK I'm guilty. I spent way too much time today on Youube. But  it is a Saturday morning after all - or was when I started! LOL!

Here are a few awesome tips I found there.

and one more...these girls are sort of silly but it's a cute idea.

July 18, 2014

Step by Step Propagating Lesson

I posted this little lesson on the Gardening Forum I belong to and figure there are folks out there who can also benefit from it.

Nearly all the plants I sell in my little nursery are propagated from cuttings that I take from my own plants. I have a mist system set up in my greenhouse where they are rooted and potted up for sale.

The following pictures show how I cut, trimmed and prepared an Oak Leaf  Hydrangea for the mist bed.

1. Here is where I made the cut on my plant. It is below 2 leaf nodes (where the leaves come out of the stem)

2. Here is what the stem looked like before I trimmed off the excess foliage: trimming is important so the plant does not waste energy trying to keep all those leaves alive. It will use it's energy to make roots!

4.Here are all the leaves I cut off . I was able to make two cutting to propagate from that one stem.

5. Now I "wound" the stem by cutting a small amount of the bark away. This helps the plant form roots.
6. Dip the end into rooting hormone. I use Hormodin #2 rooting powder but any hormone you can buy at a garden store will work.
7. Here are the cuttings in my mist system. They should have enough roots to survive in a pot in about 45 days.
 Try it yourself and make lots of free plants! Be sure you don't root any patented plants or the plant police will get you! Seriously, if you get caught there could be fines. Not worth the price of a plant. 

July 11, 2014

Make Your Own Mustard -- Who Knew!

This sounds so good and so easy! I'm going to try it myself! I bet you will like it to. Here is the link to a really good blog post from my friends over at DIYNatural  

July 4, 2014

To Prune or Not To Prune...

That always seems to be the question from my customers and gardening friends. The answer is always... Prune! Don't be afraid to prune - when in doubt err on the side of cutting that plant!

I don't even worry too much about when. I know most garden books will say "best pruned in fall or cut back in the spring." That may be true but my theory is "If it needs cutting do it now". God created plants to grow back. Nothing is more unattractive in a garden than a leggy plant. Besides, every time you prune, you create the opportunity for the plant to put out more branches and leaves and flowers.

Look at the before and after of this Autumn Joy sedum.
See all the new growth on the "after" picture. Every one of those stems will produce a flower.  I'm sure there are plants out there somewhere that don't respond well to pruning but honestly I don't know of any.

To get more blooms next year on your Hydrangea, prune it after the blooms fade. If you prune before the plant blooms in the spring you will prune off this year's flowers. Hydrangea bloom on new wood so if you cut the flowers off as soon as they start to fade, you will get lots more branches and lots more blooms next year.

Azaleas, viburnum, spirea, weigela, petunias, geranium, butterfly bushes, coleus are just a few of the plants that benefit from pruning.

There is much controversy about cutting back clematis. Remember it takes at least three years to establish a Clematis vine. I have grown Clematis successfully for years. I prune mine when they get too big for their trellis or if they seem to have very thin week vines. I prune all my varieties in the fall - I can't make myself prune off the tiny buds in spring. I know the books say there are three types of Clematis and they should be pruned according to the type - I pretty much ignore that and prune as needed in fall. So far in 20 years of beautiful Clematis this has worked for me. The fall pruning causes more vines to come up the following spring. I have pruned a big overgrown vine in summer and been rewarded with a new flush of flowers in the fall.

Get your pruning sheers and don't be afraid! The plants will reward you with lots of foliage and flowers!