Sunday, November 6, 2011

Digging up and storing four o'clock tubers

This summer I had decided to give Four O'Clocks another try. One of my online gardening friends had sent me tubers a few summers ago.  At first I didn't know what to expect from the box of roots, but they grew quickly and were beautiful.  So I'm not sure why I haven't added them to my garden again until now.   This year I started them from seeds.  The ones I planted in the front yard where they received lots of sun grew like gangbusters.  The ones in the back where my yard is shaded were very slow to grow.  Today I received a message on Facebook from a friend who wanted to know if she could dig up her cannas yet.  That message got me thinking.....could I dig up my Four O'Clock tubers and store them for the winter?  I marched right outside and started digging up my tubers.  Then I thought to message fellow twitter gardener Mr. Brownthumb if he had ever tried to store them, since I know he has grown them in his Chicago garden.  He said he did experiment with storing the tubers in a cool basement last winter, and this year was able to plant the tubers successfully.  So now that I have freshly dug up tubers that I am drying in my garage where it's cool and dry.  Once dry I plan on moving them into a box (with hole in side and top for air circulation) where I will layer them with newspaper and store them in my basement until spring.
My Four O'Clock's this summer.

Freshly dug up Four O'Clocks.

I clipped of the tops, and now just tubers are left.

I put them in a basket in my garage to dry before storing them for the winter.
If you are not already following Mr. BrownThumb blog, I highly recommend it!  Here is Mr. BrownThumb's video on how to collect Four O'Clock Seeds (love the reference to them looking like small grenades):


MrBrownThumb said...

Cool beans! I love the look of the tubers. They look like wooden carrots, such ugly tubers that produce such wonderful blooms. The seeds are fun and a easy to collect and get kids involved in gathering seeds.

DavidLMO said...

Saving and planting the tubers gives you several weeks lead time over growing from seed. I have also found that it is easier to keep the colors segregated with tubers.

With seeds, I always manage to get them mixed together. Heh. :-)

Also, with the tubers you can be assured of the color.

Tom Hartl said...

wow, glad I read this about the tubers. I just dug one up and threw it away not knowing I can re-use them. Fortunately, I just dug the one out, I have about 20 more in the ground waiting so I will be saving these for sure!

Harvest moon said...

Try winter sowing seeds in milk jugs I had great success germinating seeds that way I'm glad I seen this video plan on saving tubers in my containers thanks

ikonoclass said...

Four O'clocks grow like weeds in my yard. (zone 9a) Every random place that gets a little water grows a plant. I can't get rid of them. The tubers grow deep and I can't get them all up. Every time I am in the yard, I pull out several plants and still am inundated.

L.MerrillNJ said...

What is zone 9 a? I'm from Jersey. LoL 😅

Anonymous said...

Send them to me.