Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Little Gardening Tip

 I always feel a bit sad when putting my little flower gardens to bed for the winter, they look so forlorn. The rhubarb still has leaves, and all that's left are the Cannas, which I won't dig up until they're done blooming:

And here's my silly Brugmansia, which gifted me with ZERO flowers this summer.  Now that we're verging on frost warnings most nights it has six buds!  those are my Gloriosa lilies in the background; they, too, are doing an end-of-season bloom so I haven't put them away either.

I love Sweet Potato Vines in both planters and in my windowboxes.  Their foliage is wonderful.  Did yours do well this year?  Even at this late point (believe me, the boxes looked much better in August!) you can see that mine thrived.
You know that these are ornamental; but they're still potatoes!  You can dig them up and replant them next year, very much like regular old potatoes.  See?  I had one good-sized potato I overwintered last year - next year I'll have a few to plant!  I'd wager at least 3 of the five you see here will grow.   I haven't tried cutting a tuber and planting the bits - in theory it should work, just as it does with edible potatoes.  Do you know anyone who has tried this with ornamental potatoes like these?
BTW, the Gloriosa lilies also have terrific tubers, they usually come close to doubling each summer so there are lots to give away!  This year's are already claimed by a friend but if you want some of next year's give me a shout.

I store mine - and all of my other non-hardy tubers and bulbs - in paper bags in my basement over the winter.  Because we live in an old house, I hang my bags from a nail in the ceiling joists to make them less accessible to any mice that may move in for the cold months - or that the cat may bring in and *lose* in my house!

1 comment:

  1. My mum and dad grow sweet potatos for the leaves. They use them like spinach and also in salads. It was a tip from one of the women my dad has taught to drive...