Saturday, May 26, 2012

Those little green blobs are volunteer portulaca
Budget Gardening Tip

Volunteer plants can be quite a help in the garden.  Last year I had two hanging planters of portulaca.  Throughout the summer they would go to seed from time to time and I was glad to see that seedlings were showing up this spring.  I pull out the ones that I don't want and let others go.  They'll be happy and reseed themselves again.  Freebies are great.  My friends and I also share seeds that we save from our own plants. 

Volunteer prickly pear cactus

Volunteers can be unexpected too.  This cactus appeared about 4 years ago at the bottom of a rain spout.  I'm guessing that some bird enjoyed the fruit and deposited the seeds via poo on our roof.  Then a rare rain storm washed it down the gutter where it took root.  After it was about 2 inches high I scooped it up with a trowel and moved it to its present location.  I totally ignore it and as you can see it is very happy.

Mums March 25
Mums May 26

Dividing perennials can also be great.  I often have lots of chrysanthemums that need to be divided.  I spread them around my own garden and share them with others.  It makes my plants happier because they aren't so crowded and makes me happy to share.

Some of the plants that I divide and share from my garden are:  chrysanthemums, asters, coral bells (heuchera), and various sedums.  Bulbs also multiply and I share when they finish blooming.

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