17th March 2013
September is a good time to root your cuttings, once the frost is over and before the heat arrives. Sunday dawned a gorgeous, cool, clear day so I decided it was time to get started making my cuttings for this year.
First thing to do is select a gorgous shady spot in your garden. I chose this lovely clearing at the bottom on our garden beyond the swimming pool. Ensure you can water the cuttings easily once planted. So set up your spot and your watering system first.
Khaki Clad had lots of stock work to do so before he disappeared on his motorbike to the veld I asked him to rig up a decent hosepipe and spray. In true male fashion he left in haste before he was roped in to do any more! Clever lad.
And so began a gorgeous quiet morning under the olienhout tree in our garden.
Take your cuttings from your mature plants. I take them this size, some prefer shorter. Try and pull your cutting off the stem with a little "heel" on it. Take the cuttings from a non-flowering stem (not like I have done below!)
Fill your trays or pots (you can root these in just about anything) with soil, potting mix, peat, whatever you have available. Here I have used peat but we normally mix river sand with what we call "doringboom grond" - the soil from underneath our thorn trees, rich in nitrogen. Water the soil into the trays twice or three times before you start.
Then ensure your nursery manager is on high alert!
Then bring in the Big Guns to keep all snakes at bay. Lots of cobras and boomslange visit us all the time so my dogs are always with me when in the garden as they always notice them first.
Plant your cuttings into your soil mix as soon as you can. You may wish to use rooting hormone, but don't overdo it. Spray them lightly with water and trim if necessary.
Then ensure you get a good aerial perspective on your work:
Once planted settle them down on the ground and keep them lightly misted for a few days. Lavender does not like "wet feet" so don't over water. For the first few days we keep them slightly moist and then after that we water when necessary depending on the weather and heat. Do not let them ever dry out completely but don't keep them flooded either.
Last step is to then let your nursery manager have a good Sunday afternoon nap under the olienthout ! Happy planting!
PS a few days later: see below: The next morning my nursery staff spent the whole day making more plants. I came around the corner to find Bobbie sitting INSIDE the wheelbarrow making plants. When I asked why she did not use a chair she told me she was very comfortable right there! The three of us giggled ourselves silly!