Well summer is officially drawing to a close and the mornings are cool and you can smell fall already. It’s a little sad but I’m equally excited because there really is just something about the fall that feels like it ushers in “newness.” Perhaps it’s because we’re conditioned to start school in September and so we’ve forever made this connection. When it starts to cool down a little I get this urge to cut everything back in the yard and get it ready for the next growing season. This year felt particularly frustrating as awful caterpillars ravaged the cherry tree what felt like overnight in the beginning of spring to kick things off. Let’s focus on the positive, shall we? Two years ago in September I was riding my bike to the grocery store and I saw some Lavender growing along the road. I decided to grab a few sprigs from different plants to try my hand at propagating them back home and while I was at it I also got some sedum because I just love it and we didn’t have any. I’m happy to say two years later our Lavender cuttings are looking so full and healthy. Don’t you think? I must thank Jérémie for getting me into making cutting of different plants, I’m not sure I’d get so excited about it if he hadn’t shown me the way.
So why don’t you try. Now’s a great time of year to make some cuttings, be it from a neighbour or another plant you’ve got in the yard you want more of because I can tell you right now growing it from seed is a huge waste of time and I’m never doing it again. Ever.
So grab some little pots, I love the ones pictured here which are made of coconut husks and found them particularly useful because you can plant them in the ground and somehow they made me feel like they were a little more insulated. If you find some try them out or go ahead and use whatever you have. One thing I recommend though is make lots because it’s unlikely they’ll all survive. I found usually 3 out of 4 cuttings managed but just to be sure and I like to use many different varieties if I can. Besides, if you end up with too many just offer one to a friend. Who doesn’t love a free plant?
Fill your pots with well draining soil and use a pencil to create a little space along each corner to put the cuttings into without causing too much damage, they’re fragile little things!
Once your pots are ready you’re good to gather your lavender shoots, unless of course you had them tucked into a little plastic bag like I did the first time riding home from the village. This time around I’m going to make a bunch of different types again from true lavender, to aspic to lavandin because it’s nice to have variety and they tend to flower at different times. You’ll want to pick new shoots that aren’t flowering and then remove an inch or two of the leaves from the bottom so the plant can focus more on developing those roots!
I have a little rooting hormone (which comes from tips of willow trees) because our regular soil here is VERY very sad and the more help the better. You can try without or make your own by soaking willow tips in water and then using that to water your cuttings (a little google search will do wonders). You decide what works for you. If you’re using rooting hormone try not to do it in the wind, or while you’re eating or drinking. Dip the tips into the powder and tap away excess and carefully place it into the little holes you created using the pencil. Gently fill in the holes with soil.
Give your plants a little watering, it’s not a bad idea to cover them with a little mini greenhouse (ie – maybe a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off so it stays nice and warm but still gets to breath) for a couple weeks to get started. You can also plant these pots right into your garden if you like.
Voila! They’re ready to go. You can see a little of the different varieties below as they’ve all got slightly different leaves. I also ended up putting other cuttings directly into the garden without the pots just to see how they’ll do in the different soil but nobody hold their breath, please.
Next! Sedum. Here’s one of the plants that we’ve got in the front yard and it’s so happy and so are the honeybees. Maybe one day we’ll make “succulent honey.” Is that a thing? Can we make it one?
These are easy as pie. Grab any of the leaves and pull downward from the base of it and try and get a little bit of the stem (honestly it won’t be much more than a film of it but it helps)
Next make a little hole and stick the plant in, water it and wait. Don’t over water it, it is after all a succulent but every so often will make it go faster.
This one grew so, so fast. You can still see the leaf it came from on the far left and it’s probably been a few months but again, plant a ton of them so you know you’ve got something coming. You can do the same with echeveria which we’ve also got going in other parts of the garden. Can’t wait for more of those!
After all was said and done I couldn’t stop myself and I cut off a branch of our fig tree which wasn’t looking so happy as of late and I put it in our test garden, it’s where we’ve put really great rich soil and we put random avocado pits in etc and see what comes up, to see if perhaps it would do better. I did end up taking off this big leaf in hopes to stop those awful looking spots in their tracks. Fingers crossed! Hope you guys are as excited about making cuttings in your garden as I am. You’ll have something good to look forward to next spring!