Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tilling dirt and chopping up roots


Here are some wild morning glories that sprouted in our new garden bed. The soil was tilled up and placed in the garden back in early February. I figured chopping up the roots would just add organic matter. But I was wrong the chopping just helped the morning glories spread to every part of the garden. Usually when tilling I try to remove as much root material as possible, especially wild onions and mints. This time you can see the results below.

Above are 6 pieces of morning glory root I pulled up by hand. You can clearly see how new plants just took off from the small pieces of root.

I recall a long time ago at our river camp on the Ohio River it had wild morning glory roots 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide that came to surface every time the river washed away the soil. You could break off the roots like sweet potatoes, I had read that Indians ate the roots like potatoes in fact.

On a brighter note here is a Bleeding Heart from our garden today. A mild freeze is expected tonight, but there is nothing in our garden to worry about yet.

11 comments:

Mildred said...

I love your bleeding heart photo Randy. Such a unique plant. We have one that a former resident planted and it is such a sweet surprise every spring. Hope you all have a nice Easter.

Chandramouli S said...

How perfect your bleeding hearts looks! Yes, Indians do eat many different kinds of roots like potatoes! Yummy yum! Don't we love 'em!

sweet bay said...

Randy I have heard of people tilling mint. oops lol

I'm a little worried about the freeze tonight but what can you do. As long as the iris buds don't freeze I'll be happy.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I had lady bells that I tried to remove last year. I didn't realize that any piece of root left would sprout, they ended up everywhere. Morning glories can really take over gardens around here. I love seeing the bleeding hearts!

Lanny said...

The photo of your bleeding heart is very sweet.

tina said...

Good luck pulling all those 'volunteers'. I'll be doing to the same to wild onions today that came in with a load of 'soil'. Very frustrating. But you are right-the bleeding hearts are a brighter note!

Town Mouse said...

Morning glory? We call them bindweed, and for a reason...Love the bleedingheart, though.

Just Jenn said...

Do you know if all morning glory is invasive like that or just the wild version that you helped propagate? ;^)
I was thinking of planting some but I'm on the fence as it is...

Your Bleeding Heart is so pretty! Ours is just coming up but no hearts yet.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi~~ Love the bleeding heart. Mine aren't as far along so it's nice to get a sneak peak. A few years ago, I mistakenly grew Morning Glory 'Grandpa Ott.' How innocent it looked in the photos and on the seed packet. It grew and bloomed, providing a beautiful curtain of morning entertainment. However, while my back was turned, it distributed copious quantities of progeny, that are still, four years later, germinating and trying to get a foothold. Not worth it. Good luck with your eradication mission. We learn many lessons in this sometimes neurotic pursuit to beautify our surroundings.

MacGardens said...

Thanks for the illustration of how the Morning Glory does it's thing. I certainly never have any shortage of them in the garden. When I have the patience (not very often) I make multiple passes over a couple of weeks. But inevitably the Morning Glories will be there as a part of the garden.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Oh I love your bleeding hearts! I just planted 4 of them, and have never had them before-but am told they love the shade, so, they're in! Your spreading vine sounds so darn invasive it's just maddening! I have the same problem w/wild violets. Though they have a cute little purple flower, their roots and shoots spread and get very thick and are nearly impossible to eradicate. They are all over my back yard...and I've even sprayed weed killer on them, to no avail. It's true about those roots...even lying on the ground after being pulled, they live! I hope you guys have a Happy Easter, and a wonderful spring;-)