March 1, 2012 @ 9:00 AM

 This is the month where everything changes. Our minds and bodies get busy, there are Spring tonics to be drunk, early seeds to plant...and probably more snow to shovel.

Right about now...I am eyeing my compost pile, wanting to get in there, smell it, start spreading it on my garden beds. And...there are tiny greens to eat--garlic mustard, chive tips, NETTLES!!!

Today and yesterday are some of the first real winter days we've had, so my itching for the outdoors is on hold and my attention turned to long in the tooth, neglected house plants and overwintered garden plants that are as anxious to get back outside as I am.

I headed for my potting bench and repotted a few crowded plants and then turned my attention to a sad Jade plant that 
I have had for years, but has been abused by cats, high winds and clumsy people--so bits and pieces have fallen off and it is old and hardy, but it will never be big/strong/tall like pampered Jades can get. I began gently cutting it apart and got 45 cuttings off of it, while maintaining the trunk. I already had shallow containers filled with potting soil so I dampened it with some diluted liquid seaweed and then used a really nifty trick I learned years ago. Usually, when potting up plant cuttings, you are told to dip the stem in a "rooting hormone powder". It works great, but  the box warns of toxicity, so I haven't used any for years. What I found was that you can make a strong sun tea out of young/thin willow branches --or--dry and powder the  willow and use that instead. Anyone who has made furniture or  a wattle fencing from fresh willow knows how it will re-root and become a "living" structure....and so it is perfect for rooting/propogating plants. All my little clones should be ready in a few months, to pot up and give away.....except for one I will keep...... and pledge to protect.