Monday, March 29, 2010

How Vining Plants Vine

My indoor plants are doing fantastic! Some of the recently started Checkered Poppies, Bergenia Rose, Zucchini, Watermelon, Hibiscus and Morning glories have popped out of the soil this weekend. Along with the Mixed hot peppers. Seems the red/green pepper plants are a bit more stubborn but I'm sure they will come up when they want to. We are expecting weather in the 70's this week! I have Thursday and Friday off from work which means I will certainly be spending most of my free time preparing the garden.
Yesterday I cut down all of the "decorative bushes" aka overgrown weed/trees from in front of our house. This is where I intend to put most of my flowers this year. It will be quite the chore pulling all of those huge root balls out of the ground but I'm up for the challenge. This is the spot that gets the most sun in our entire yard. I will have to sneak in some tomatoes, peppers and maybe even a watermelon plant on the end.

The morning glory's that I started in mid-february are quickly out-growing their pots, well more their posts. The other day, the top of the vine was headed toward my lamp since it's taller than anything else in the room. Funny how that works.
I have been wondering this whole time however why my morning glory will crawl up the bamboo rods I placed into the pots while my sweetpeas just fall and won't cling to anything. After some research, I came across this wonderful article on vining plants. Apparently morning glories, pole beans and others use a twining technique which allows them to twist around anything it touches. However, sweatpeas, passionflowers, etc. use tendrils to latch onto things to keep their growth vertical. Although I was aware that peas had a different method of climbing, I was oblivious to the fact that they need horizontal support systems. Who knew, well I'm sure a lot of people knew but for a fairly inexperienced gardener, this was a pleasant surprise for me. I was worried I had faulty sweetpeas. Apparently what works best is netting with squares that are 2-6 inches wide. I will need to do this asap as I am afraid my sweetpeas will refuse to grow if they can't stand up. Hope you learned something in this blog, since I just have. :)

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