Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bush League....

...and proud of it! Thanks to using the Winter Sowing method, I've been able to find funds in my skimpy budget to pick up several more of the very inexpensive rooted cuttings still available at the local discount store. The newest acquisitions are native shrubs that come highly recommended. These are Redosier dogwoods and Silky dogwoods (as always, 2 to a pack). I potted up each cutting into it's own 1 gallon container. Once again I had advice from some new friends from the GardenWeb forum community (wave to Sonia). I got a good planting mix recipe to use when potting shrubs and trees. My plan is to allow the shrubs and the Amur maples to develop good root systems over the next 6-7 months and then plant them out in Fall.

The neighborhood has lost many trees over the past couple of years and I've also notice much less undergrowth. Since I want to have the sanctuary gardens certified as a wildlife habitat (why not go for broke?), I need to provide more cover, nesting and forage plants for the critters. Small trees and fruit producing shrubs will help. And the Amurs will help replace some the the privacy I used to have before Ike blew through town last October.

I'm keeping my eye out for more crabapples, dogwoods, redbuds, and other small ornamental, fruiting trees. Nut trees I don't need. Within a stone's throw there are oak, chestnut, hickory and a black walnut, so the squirrels are happy campers.

And not only am I buying rooted cutting, I'm now trying my hand at rooting some cuttings myself. My neighbor cut back his forsythia shrub and when I noticed all those whips in his brush pile, I rescued them from certain barbecue. I made up 5 containers of whips (plastic jugs in back row) to root. No roots yet, but they are leafing out and there are a few cheerful blooms.

With any luck, it's going to be a really busy this Fall. :-D