Sunday, September 1, 2019

Happy Labor Day Weekend (and fun with succulents)

Happy Labor Day to those who are getting that extra day off for their weekend!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a composting lecture given by the folks who are responsible for trash pickup. I learned lots of interesting things, including how frustrating it must be for them to have to go through the green waste cans and remove all kinds of odd trash before they can start using the discarded plants and grass remnants to produce compost and mulch.

Amazingly, that recycled material is available for residents to take for use in their own homes. I was convinced to try composting on my own...and that's going to be a learning curve, lol, because the idea and the execution have a fair amount of distance between them. Anyway, I can stop driving my hubby nuts by throwing the banana peels into the garden, and I will get exercise carrying the food prep scraps (NOT meat/bones/fat) to the compost bin.

I stole (I mean, relocated) the green recycle can to put the grass clipping in the bin, and tried to tell the gardener to leave the bin in the back yard so I don't have to lug it back there. His solution—he left it there, but empty! Sigh. Ok, we'll try that again.

Anyway, I wanted to thin out our tree collard stalks (especially since we aren't eating many collard greens) so I took some with me to see if my fellow curious folks would want any. It was popular enough that I didn't have a stalk for one person, so I arranged to meet her later...and she gave me an array of succulents in exchange.
Collard greens

I'm thrilled because she gave me some donkey/monkey's tail. I always manage to kill those, so we will see if I can keep these alive!

I'm really fascinated by the one called "Mother of Thousands" because it looks so much like a fringed hat, lol. That's the center plant in the picture above. Each one of those little plants can fall to the ground and root. I guess it will be a good idea to keep it in a container, but I am fascinated by how differently succulents propagate. It turns out there are quite a few different varieties of those, so I will see how it goes with the two she gave me, plus the one I got during another plant talk a few months ago.

I generally break off a stem and try to root it, but it turns out I forget to let the end dry out first, so I often fail. I also tend to overwater, so I'm trying to be better about that. And even better, the DWP (the Department of Water and Power) gifted us with low-flow water nozzles AND moisture meters!

It turns out, that some of the leaves are quite capable of deciding to root on their own, as I discovered when checking the dirt around this plant! (Sorry, some are a bit out of focus). This is kind of a fuzzy plant (some kind of water retention adaptation).

Fuzzy, but roots are at the top and small plant is starting at the bottom

Of course, now I have to be patient and not try to pot the thing too soon, lol.

So, you might want to look into what kinds of seminars your local waste management company provides...who knows what treasures you'll be able to pick up!

What kinds of succulents have you been successful at growing?


  1. I don't have a garden but I find your posts fascinating. Not enough to motivate me to pick up a shovel, though...

    1. I tend to garden in small areas or pots, so I don't use a shovel, lol. Thanks for taking the time to read the post. I will update if I manage to keep the succulents alive (0;