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