Tag Archives: GreenGardens

Take Lavender Cuttings Now to Make New Plants

Lavender plant in Feb.

It’s time to check your lavender plants for new growth and take cuttings to make new plants. I do this every year.

Most winters we lose at least one of our lavender plants and I like to maintain a supply of them for replacements. If we don’t need them in our garden, we give them to other gardeners.

At this time of year you can use either/both hardwood or softwood cuttings.

Lavender cuttings in moist vermiculite

lavender%2Bcuttings%2B%25281%2529.JPGThe hardwood cuttings have worked for me but can take longer to strike roots.

Cut a 4 to 6 inch long piece of the plant that includes a growing tip.

The softwood grows out of the bottom of the plant where it has recently emerged from the roots.

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cuttings.


Put moist sand, vermiculite or perlite into a container and make a hole in it with a pencil or other object – for each cutting. If you try to just stick the tender cuttings into planting medium it will bend.

Press cuttings in firmly, bringing sand up to the base of the cutting.

The rooting medium should be kept moist but not soggy. I check them every day or two.

Some of them will not make roots and those will just die after a while. Toss them out. But if you take 6 or 8 cuttings, you’ll have plenty of lavender in time for fall perennial planting.

Cuttings need no sun or artificial light while making roots. The photos were taken in the sun for visibility only.

California Congressman Takano Works to Unleash Power of Agriculture for Riverside’s Health and Prosperity


Congressman Mark Takano, a Democrat from California’s 41st congressional district, was born in Riverside, California. The longtime Riverside Community College Board of Trustees member delivered a keynote address at GrowRIVERSIDE’s “Citrus and Beyond” conference in 2014, and he understands … Read More

Clematis You Need

Starfish Clematis

On Saturday, Feb 20th, the Flower Garden Nature Society is hosting Dan Long of Brushwood Nursery. His vine nursery in Athens Georgia features native vines but Clematis, too.

The nursery’s website has two sections: 1) for growers and 2) finished retail products. It looks like the grower side is just for a few of their hybrids.

The Gardenvines website for gardeners still says Brushwood. At any rate, there are links to their various collection of Clematis, Passionflower vines, Climbing Roses, Honeysuckle and Jasmine,

Dan Long

Long’s talks on the 20th will focus on Clematis and native vines for our gardens.

The 10 am talk is titled “Clematis You Need/You Need Clematis”

His 2 pm talk is titled “Social Climbers: Native Vines that Won’t Kill Your Garden Party”

$15 for both talks.

For more information contact Gail Pianalto 479.361.2198 or Joyce Mendenhall 479.7265

Six Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Garden by Evelyn Hadden

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My Boise front garden this summer, two years after smothering the lawn with leaves.

Got leaves? Use them to boost your garden’s soil and plant health, facilitate the design and creation of new planting beds, turn problem areas into productive ones, and save yourself labor and money, all while doing the green thing. Here are six rewarding, practical alternatives to raking leaves into bags and hauling them off your property.

1. Spread thinly over planted areas. If they’re only an inch or two deep, leave leaves where they have fallen around perennials, shrubs, and trees. Distribute a two-inch layer over the rest of your planted areas as well. Larger or coarser leaves will act as a mulch — suppressing seedling germination, retaining soil moisture, and minimizing erosion. If you shred the leaves first, or if they are naturally small and friable, they will break down more easily and will act more like a soil conditioner than a mulch. Grass clippings can be mixed in for extra nutrition. More details on spreading leaves over perennial beds from Penn State Extension.

2. Spread thinly over lawn. Mow over a light layer of leaves where they have fallen onto a lawn. This will break them into pieces that are less likely to pack down and smother the grass but can sift down between the blades and enrich the soil as they decompose. For stretches of lawn without fallen leaves, spread a thin layer over your lawn and shred with the mower, or shred first and then spread. More details on using fallen leaves to benefit lawns from University of Minnesota Extension.

3. Spread deeply under shrubs. Rake fallen leaves under the skirts of shrubs for a weed-suppressing mulch and nutritious compost all in one. Shrubs of woodland origin can easily handle a deep mulch of leaves, though any groundcover plants under them may smother. Want more shrubs? A thick blanket of leaves can induce arching and suckering woody plants to layer (produce new plants from buried trailing branches), and those new plants will be ready to cut free and dig up within a year or two.

4. Spread deeply to kill lawn. Pile fallen leaves over a section of lawn to smother it for planting next year. A foot-deep layer of leaves should be sufficient to kill a fescue lawn. If your lawn plants are particularly tough, lay cardboard first for extra help with weed suppression. (If you are smothering lawn over a tree’s root zone, tackle no more than a quarter of the root zone per year.) With enough warmth, moisture, and soil life, your leaves might mostly decompose over the first winter, or it could take a year or so for them and the erstwhile lawn to transform into rich, crumbly, worm-filled topsoil.

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Here’s the front yard in December 2013, with piled leaves shaping the new beds. Remaining lawn shows where the stepping stone paths will be.

5. Make more places for leaves. Design planting beds that can take your extra leaves every year — leaf processing areas, so to speak. Site them within convenient raking distance of (or within) your lawn, patio, and paved areas. Plant tall, robust shrubs in them and plan to add a deep layer of leaves to those beds every year. An island within the lawn can be planted with native berrying and flowering shrubs to become a songbird haven. Site it so it provides a four-season view from a window of the house or from an outdoor sitting area. A hedge along the driveway also makes an excellent leaf processing area; just sweep them off the pavement and into the shrubbery.

6. Get your compost mix right. Set aside a bag or two of leaves to spread thinly over the compost pile every time you empty your kitchen scrap bucket onto it. This will help to mask unpleasant odors, balance green materials with brown, and speed decomposition.

Now for the caveats:

As you may have deduced from our recent discussion about the National Wildlife Federation’s leaf-leaving advice, it’s important to consider your climate and site, the type of leaves you have, and the plants you are growing.

While some leaves break down quickly (honeylocust, for instance), thick and leathery leaves such as magnolia or oak may not decompose for years without being shredded first. These latter types of leaves will require extra effort to incorporate into your garden.

If you are cultivating mosses or other fragile groundcovers under your trees, a deep leaf layer will kill them.

Aesthetics can play a part in your choices too.

But before you bag them and send them away, consider how those free fallen leaves might benefit you and your garden.

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Perennials, annuals, and vegetables, including dryland native plants, are thriving in the decomposed leaves.

Six Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Garden originally appeared on Garden Rant on November 18, 2015.

Guide to Farmers Markets: Benefits Beyond the Plate


The following article by Robin Plaskoff Horton and reposted from Fix.com:

Both casual cooks and celebrity chefs flock to their local farmers markets to avail themselves of the freshest locally grown produce straight from the farm. In addition to Read More…

The post Guide to Farmers Markets: Benefits Beyond the Plate appeared first on Urban Gardens.

Los Angeles Gets Ready for Second Vegan Oktoberfest

Los Angeles is home to the Vegan Beer and Food Festival, a Vegan Street Fair, and as counterintuitive as it may seem, the popular Vegan Oktoberfest, which runs next weekend, October 3-4. Now in its second year, Vegan Oktoberfest has vegans and non-vegans alike counting the days until the festival’s doors open

The post Los Angeles Gets Ready for Second Vegan Oktoberfest appeared first on Eat Drink Better.

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