3. Let the lawn go brown. This applies to dry-summer climates. Not all neighborhoods allow brown lawns, and not all spouses allow them. If you can get away from it, quit watering it, let it go brown. Cut any weeds that come up. When the rains start again, the lawn will green up and grow again. Mine has for the past 5 years. This is nature's cycle. Expectation of green lawn in a dry-summer climate is zone-denial. Tell the neighbors to get over it. Meanwhile, you save the cost of energy, gas/electricity if you are using a power mower; cut back on the water bill, and can be smug about your environmental consciousness.
Daniel, I have very small 40 x 60 back yard, and there is a huge existing mesquite tree on one side. I already planted a red Crape Myrtle that will get to be 25'. There is still room for one more moderate sized tree and I thought I might plant another Crape Myrtle, thus my question about taking young shoots that are coming off the newly planted tree to start another one. However, since I made the post I realized that a fruit or citrus tree would be much more productive use of the space, smell good when it blossoms, and would produce fruit. So I contacted a friend who has a orange and a lemon tree in her yard and asked for cuttings. So now you mention dormancy in cuttings. Does that mean this is the wrong time of year to take the cuttings and try to get it started for next spring planting?
Barbara, you can always try. I have never grown citrus from cuttings.
Daniel, spoke with friend today who is Master Gardener and she agrees with you about dormancy. :( I've decided to play with some cuttings anyway. I have some shrubs I would like to duplicate and so I'm going to get some root starter and see what happens. If they grow, they grow, and if not I will most likely have learned something in the process. Nothing ventured nothing gained. :)
Excellent points, Daniel. I would add another topic, Sweat ... perspiration. The beauty of a garden for me, it requires time, attention and hard work. Problems always crop up, even with the best techniques. Part of the fun requires solving them ... kind of like going on a hunt. A gardener meets the nicest people while on the hunt for solutions.
"Problems always crop up, even with the best techniques. Part of the fun requires solving them.".
Joan, I really agree with you. Attaching that idea to a brain cell has been a long process for me. I wish everyone could spend a few hours on a regular basis working in a garden. Maybe that's why communiy gardening is so popular as people gain more than food from gardening. Problem solving is a very confidence building task, or at least it is for me. Sweat equity is a bonus.
Yesterday the gutters man came back for a final tweaking of the gutters so that they all drain exactly as I want into the rain barrels. Feeling flush with success (everything matches and looks really professional and I did it!) I was enjoying my nightime reading - "Weedless Gardening" by Lee Reich. And then, I gulped and gasped and thought, 'oh, no, here I go again.'
Mr. Reich states: "Not having to dig the soil in spring also means not having to delay planting because of wet soil. Digging a wet clay soil transforms it into a compact material better suited for sculpture than plant growth." page 10. (I'm not suppose to plant in wet soil? I didn't know that.) It immediately made me think of my plum and nectarine trees - are they going to live or become sculptures? And yet now is the time for me to be planting so many things - and yes it is definitely wet - and yes I have clay soil.
Obviously my issues are small compared to others, but when I remind myself it really is fun and I would sooooo much rather dig in the dirt and plant something rather than go shopping for shoes ... well, bring on the gardening problems! And a good day of physical work in the garden merits 'cherries jubilee' from Baskin & Robbins without a bit of guilt.
Daniel, thanks for re-posting this. Lots of good information in it. It is definitely a learning process. I am simply amazed at the amount of organics that went into my trash can the first year I owned my home. I've gone from thinking my composting efforts would only fill a trash can to laying out an area just for composting. Ditto for all the plants I now prune, trim and simply move. What was once 'trash' now has become new plants to share. My cheap gardening efforts has now become a part of my life - "do I really want this? or would I rather buy a plant or a packet of seeds?" Grapes growing over a pergola is in the dreaming stage! Too bad every new homeowner doesn't receive a frugal gardening book along with final closing papers! :)
"Too bad every new homeowner doesn't receive a frugal gardening book along with final closing papers! :)"
I'll second that emotion Barbara.