Can you grow your own ornamental sweet potato vines? Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will reveal how to start all versions of the plant that is neither regular potato nor ‘yam’. Plus your fabulous phone calls!
Question of the Week:
“I recently pulled out a decorative sweet potato vine as I was cleaning out my planters for the season and found HUGE tubers under the soil. I understand that they are not the tastiest kinds of sweet potatoes, but I would like to save them to plant again in the spring. What’s the best way to store them for the winter? And should I cut them apart in the Spring and bury the pieces in my planters?”
— Candy in Port Murray, NJ, “near the Delaware Water Gap”
Highlights from show:
Marilyn from Simpsonville, Kentucky is a Bee Keeper that has a farm, but is down to just 5 acres now. With one-half of the acre she wants to plant a native flower mix for the bees in the field. Her area is thick with fescue grass, and wants to know how best to plant these seeds. Mike suggests for her to simply plow up the field to knock back at least half of the fescue. He then suggests getting a wildflower mix closest to her region, so it would behave properly in her micro-climate.
Garlic Garden Beds
John from Morristown, NJ put his garden to bed, tilled it, and put garlic in it this fall, but came to find it all came up. Mike says the sprouts coming up are fine, but asks what caused him to till his garden in the fall, because it really just damages the soil and activates weed seeds. Mike tells him he should freeze the soil, and after the soil freezes up for the season, put an inch of well shredded fall leaves over the beds in between the garlic sprouts, which insulates the soil.
Cheryl from South Central, Arkansas heard another callers’ question about an alternative ornamental plant to poison ivy. The caller liked how the berries from the poison ivy attracted birds. Cheryl heard Mike suggest getting a pyracantha, because it behaves like ivy but wasn’t poisonous. However, he wasn’t sure if it attracted birds. Sharell assured him that, yes, pyracantha does attract birds where she lives and wanted to highlight that point.
From Raised Beds to Potted Plants
Richard from Williamstown, NJ recently moved to a new home where at first he had raised beds, but now he’s in a condo and can only pot his plants and keep them inside. He has two other plants where he’s unsure what to do, because they’re 4 ft tall and now loosing all its leaves. Mike says he did a good job by bringing them inside, but for the 4 feet tall plants he needs to get them in a plastic pot, lay them outside, and cover them up with shredded leaves for winter.