Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Winter Indoor Garden

As I was cleaning my workroom the other day, I was checking out my few houseplants.  Actually I have no real house plants, house plants have zero interest for me - don't know why, they just don't catch my fancy.  What I have are slips and cuttings of some of the garden plants from next year, that I am trying to keep over winter, so I can propagate them for the coming season.  Yes some of them may be illegal to propagate from - I haven't really looked into the legalities and patents of the few plants I have growing.  However my feeling is that most of the newly minted ones that I tried to propagate last fall, which might have had protective patents on their pretty little heads, did not survive the slipping process.

What I have got is a few different colours of coleus that I really liked last year, a couple of other red plants, that I don't even have a name for and an ivy or two.  I also have four of my chrysanthems that I cut back in the fall.  They looked dead, but have suddenly sprung to life and have myriads of green shoots sprouting forth.  One even sent up two feeble red blooms - not sure on that one, because day length, temperature etc all have to be exactly right for chrysanthemums to celebrate.  Some how I didn't see either of these conditions being met in their dark, dismal corner.
I also brought my plumbago plants in.  I had put them in a large plastic tub, buried it in the ground and dug it up last fall.  I know they are not hardy enough to withstand our winters, so I brought them in, in the hopes of overwintering it.  Some of the shoots are pretty dried up and dead looking, but there are some fairly healthy shoots still going.  My feeling is that if I can keep them going for another month or two, put them outside, the spring weather will bring everybody back to robust life.

I store my geraniums in the cold-room.  I have a lot of them, just sitting in their pots, dried up right now.  Last year I kept two over and both came back with water and sunlight in the greenhouse last spring.  Hopefully I can be as fortunate with a larger quantity this year.

In my cold room I also have a lot of other propagation material for the coming season.  For years I have stored my gladiolus corms in plastic mesh bags.  I have imported a lot of specialty varieties from a late breeder in Russia.  I have tried to keep all these varieties separate over the years.  Last fall, I admit to getting a little discouraged with my routine.  I only kept about 3 of each variety, and then only the strongest corms.  Some varieties, I had several hundred bulbs of.  Since we are no longer selling them at our roadside stand, it seemed to be a little superfluous.

So we are going to try a whole lot less gladiolus this year and in a new location (hopefully a little more weed-free).  I built new iris beds last summer and we are going to plant the glad corms along the back of each bed.  Because irises have to be kept weed free, I'm hoping the two plants will go well together.
Glads in milk crates, Sweet potatoes in pails

As well, I store my dahlia tubers over each year.  I didn't save as many of them as usual, either.  They just tend to be so prolific, that eventually you have to turf some.  We did not have a great bloom last year on the dahlias either, not sure if it was the season, or if the tubers are starting to run out -- do dahlias lose their virility over time?
Dahlias (left) & Potatoes

I also have all my calla and canna lily bulbs stored in jute bags.  I should probably get the callas out and get them moistening up in soil.  I know they seem to take a long time to revive each year from their arid winter state.

The other odds and sods I have are tigridia corms, and sweet potato vines.  I was amazed at the size of the tubers that these ornamental beauties produced last fall.  I'm not sure the legality of propagating these tubers -- they may still be patent protected, not sure.  However it does seem a shame to toss out such well grown tubers.  I guess if the plant police come knocking, I can rip the plants up and plead stupidity.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for following my "teenage ramblings" of going gently
    I am impressed with your organisation and planting...I have dont nothing so far


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