The Dirt – My Solution for Multiple Daughters

My Solution for Multiple Daughters

When our girls were in high school, they each had their own aloe vera plant in their bedroom. When they left for college, I inherited them… and I still have them today.

Here’s a little secret about aloe vera plants. If they’re happy, they multiply… a lot. It’s safe to say that mine are happy!

Through the years, those two small aloe plants have multiplied into hundreds of new plants. Some made their way back to my daughters, and many wound up in the hands of their friends and roommates. A few have ended up with their brother or his friends and his roommates. And, a few have made it into work for sharing. However, despite the many new found homes, most have stayed here with me.

Now let me explain that with a little more detail.

Each spring, I divide down each plant, resetting the original parent plant and removing all the daughter plants that have formed. That amounts to about 30-40+ daughter plants each year per plant. That’s a lot of new plants year over year! I try to find homes for as many as I can, but once the kids and all their friends have been restocked, the rest usually end up on my compost pile.

But this year was different. This year I had an idea. 💡

We have a stretch of landscape bed in the front that’s gone unplanted for years. Because of the roof overhang and the sunny exposure, it’s an arid wasteland… a gardening challenge. I’m not into lots of extra watering, so this dry corner has a few decorative boulders and a nice layer of mulch, but it has never been planted… until now.

I thought to myself, what would be better in a hot, dry spot than succulents? And that’s where my idea came in. Why not take all those extra aloe plants destined for the compost pile and repurpose them into this bed? Aloes are very drought-tolerant succulents, making them perfect for this challenging corner!

So, when the spring repotting took place, all those daughter plants got relocated into this barren corner… and they’ve done great!

Cameron Rees, General Manager

They have thrived, taking this empty corner and transformed it into something attractive… finally! And, if I ever have a bad sunburn, I’ve got all the aloe I could ever need!

Aloe might not be the right solution for your empty spot, but I bet we can help you come up with an idea or two. New plants are rolling in and Fall is a great time to plant. Come on out and let’s see what we can come up with for your tough spot.

-Cameron

“Thymely” Advice: It’s Time for the Orange Bag!

Here’s a quote straight from last week’s Kansas State University Horticulture Newsletter…

“September is almost here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawns. If you could only fertilize your cool-season grasses once per year, this would be the best time to do it.”

That’s great advice from the lawn experts. And that’s why we say now is the time for the Orange Bag!

By “Orange Bag,” we mean Fertilome Lawn Food Plus Iron.

It’s a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer, and it’s perfect for our cool season tall fescue lawns. It’s the second step of our Three-Step Lawn Program, and we’ve got lots of it in stock right now for immediate application.

Just follow label directions and make sure you sweep or blow off those sidewalks, driveways, streets and patios before watering it in. If you need help figuring out how much you need, we can help with that, too!

Kansas Native Perennials

Planting natives is on trend right now in the plant world. Some people have been doing it for years and are happy to see others following suit. But, why plant natives?

Once established, natives are less dependent on watering, fertilizing and insecticide use. Natives will be heat and drought tolerant and adaptable to our Kansas conditions. Be mindful when planting natives that you choose the right one for your location. Just because they are native doesn’t mean they will grow wherever you plant them. Watch the light requirements and heights on the plant.

Two in particular are Blue Vervain and Brown-Eyed Susan.

Blue Vervain, a.k.a. Swamp Verbena or Simpler’s Joy, grows 2 ½’ tall on strong stems with blue-purple spikes of flowers. This native fits well in moist soils in sun to part shade. Blue Vervain attracts bees and butterflies and is a host to the Common Buckeye.

You have heard of Black-Eyed Susans but how about Brown-Eyed Susans? They are masses of yellow daisy flowers with brown centers that appear late summer through fall. This native will tower over plants at 3-6’ and tolerates dry to moist soils in sun to part shade. Birds will feed on the center cone in winter.

Check Out Brian’s Yard!

What I do in my yard is just for fun.

Some landscaping was drawn out. Other areas contain a special purchase because I really liked a plant. But, most were random collections using plants that were discarded or literally off the compost pile. I would bring them home and see if I can make them go. That’s the fun of it!

It’s an older home, and we tore down the existing limestone walls, then rebuilt them and filled in the gaps. And, there’s lots of room to keep adding to.

Enjoy the pics!

-Brian

Brian Buhler - Nursery Manager
Brian Buhler, Nursery Manager