A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Never Volunteer . . .

. . . to propogate the agave if you don't have your garden gloves:

Click on the picture to enlarge it and see my bloody hands!

The Head Hatter made it look so easy!

Just loosen the soil and the pups pop out. Say that three times fast!

The tender plants are being brought into the greenhouse at Rutgers Gardens and prepared to over-winter.

The agave pups were potted up by another volunteer:

Other plants, like these tiny Colocasia (elephant ear), are being separated and then stored as bare-roots.

After I finished the agave, I decided to tackle some canna. No thorns! Maybe if I had seen this, I would have chosen something else:

Those canna rhizomes are tough!

By far the best job of the day was separating the Society Garlic:

Those are canna leaves at the bottom of the photo. This garlic is decorative rather than culinary, I believe, but it still smelled great. The woman who was working with it said she was getting cravings for pizza. It put me in the mood for lasagna.

Outside of the greenhouse was more evidence of Ernesto's power:

Luckily, it missed the greenhouse. They are going to try and save this tree.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Loretta said...


At 6:36 PM, Blogger snappy said...

Poor tree, hope they can save it.I love the Agave plant name; pups!You have given blood, sweat, and tears now in the name of gardening.Does bare root mean leaving them outside the soil over winter?like my Amaryllis when i dug it out i left it in a pot.I love the name Colocasia elephant ears.So cute..

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

YIKES! How are your hands feeling now? I wouldn't have guessed that the agave would have "bitten" you so hard!

At 12:50 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

The agave was thornier than it looked. Fortunately, the cuts were superficial so my hands are healing nicely.

Bare root means removing the plant from the soil, trimming off any remaining foliage and then storing the remaining root/tuber/rhizome in a soil-less medium like peat moss in a cool place over the winter. It stays dormant until planted again in the spring.

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Sigrun said...

Grrrr, have you not used gloves? I can not work without gloves.


At 6:34 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Sigrun, I don't usually wear gloves while gardening, even when I am pruning my rosebushes! The only time I will willingly wear gloves is when I am working around poison ivy.

At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Andee said...

For a couple of minutes I thought that was your greenhouse. I was REALLY impressed. Nice Agave. Andee

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

Well, I'm going to stay away from that job! Luckily, I don't have an Agave plant. And I thought working in a greenhouse would be such fun!
We saw Society Garlic blooming at the Plantations...very pretty. Hadn't seen it before.
Goodness, Ernesto did some damage, didn't he?
Thanks so much for naming that plant. I had just that moment read about Polygonum (smartweed) on Kathy Purdy's blog, when your e-mail popped into my inbox. The KMOTGF is much more preferable than the weed! What a great name :)
I'm learning so much from my blogger friends...I really appreciate the help :)

At 11:30 PM, Blogger gary said...

Cannas are garlic! Why didn't I know that?


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