With winter approaching, maybe there are some indoor projects that you can take on. Getting ready to sow some seeds is a good way to still feel connected to that passion we share; growing plants.
There are seed sowing techniques that work really well for hardy succulents. These generally are easier to grow if they get a cold period, called stratification. All that means is that they receive some freezing temperatures for a short time, only a few weeks in some cases.
The added bonus is that then the seeds will all germinate at the same time, instead of straggling along and some of them not germinating until the following year.
This just makes it easier for you, the propagator. The seedlings can all be pricked out and transferred to larger growing containers or a nursery bed at the same time, and the flats can be dumped of soil and cleaned.
The simplest method of growing seeds this way is called the Winter Sow Method. Using a plastic milk jug with the top cut off gives the seeds exactly the right conditions, and protects them from the elements or critters.
Growing plants indoors is a way to stay sane if you're in a cold climate. A foot of snow on the ground actually benefits your window sill plants because it reflects more light.
If you're a good plant mommy, you'll want to move the plants back and forth from natural window light to a grow light for the few hours extra that they'll need every day. All tender succulents have evolved in countries close to the equator, which gets equal day and night all year long.
One plant that appeals to many for it's unusual form (a big bulbous trunk) and the beautiful flowers is Adenium. Although it's a bit challenging to grow, they are very rewarding and satisfying. If you come across one, grab it!
More and more, it's on our minds that we must save water whenever we can. There are a few things to do that will conserve this valuable (and finite) resource.
In cold climates where you get snow for a while in the winter, there doesn't seem to be much going on in the garden, but look around; it's amazing how much is happening, from small birds fluttering around in the shrubs looking for grubs and overwintering insects, to squirrels scampering and leaving footprints in the snow.
Bundle up, get outside for a while and enjoy the xeric garden in the snow and cold. It's not dead, just sleeping...