Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cuttings, cuttings, cuttings!

I opened my eyes, and the first thing I noticed was the lovely fresh smell of fallen rain - something we have not had any of over the last couple of months.  The drops were glistening on the lavender leaves, the veggie garden looked fresh and the grass was soft under my boots.  A cool breeze blew gently and the air was clear as crystal.  Definitely a day to take cuttings, I thought, and set about gathering my scissors and a feed bag to use as a hold all for my cuttings and in no time had taken nearly two hundred and fifty cuttings, mainly of the Margaret Roberts lavender.  My son came to find me, and decided to take some rosemary and catmint cuttings as well.

Taking cuttings is an easy job, but you just never know what your success rate is going to be!  All you do is pluck a thumb length piece of lavender tip (no flowers!), gently pull off the lower leaves, exposing a raw heel.  Dip this heel in a little water (or give it a good lick - apparently female saliva encourages the little plant to grow roots - but this is just a little scenty for me, particulary if I am doing over 200 at a time....), then dip in some rooting powder, then place in moist river sand into which a hole has been made with a little stick and shore up the soil around it.  Pray, water daily, and after about 4 weeks you should see some new growth above the soil - this is your indication that roots have set! Give it at least one more week and then transplant into gro-bags, or make your own newspaper pots - bio-degradable and you would be recycling!

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