Re: Giant Tuber culture


>>Cats, dogs, squirrls, racoons, skunks, rabbits, et. al. would consider this
>>a gift from God; in my neck of the world, at least.
>
>Do they dig for them when they're in the ground? Does anything really eat
>them? If so, how do you grow them at all?
>
>Carlo

Hi Carlo:

Yep! The wildlife, esp. squirrls and racoons, will dig them up the same as
they do tulips and the like. They will eat them or try to eat them. I
suspect that many of the tubers may smell like food but prove to be
unpalatable after the first few mouthfulls. Which does not do the tubers
much good. They will cut the (green) growing points off tubers. As yet, I
only have smallish to medium tubers, but these can be carried away. A
neighbour's dog likes to dig the things up and chew on them. Racoons just
seem to get a kick out of digging up anything freshly planted and mangeling
it.

I grow most of them in pots and put them outside on the patio when the
weather warms up. After a while a few of the larger tubers get plopped into
the garden. These don't usually seem to get disturbed, but by then they are
in full growth (maybe) and it is late spring/early summer (I go by the
weather) and there is plenty of much easier to acquire, tastier and more
natural food available for the various critters. If the tubers were within
easy reach (ie: on top of the garden covered by a mound of soil), I'm
pretty sure that there would be _something_ out there ready and willing to
have a go at them.

The tubers were only a few, at first, and were easy to care for as the
animals did not seem to care to come too close to the house and I would
often move the pots indoors if there was a risk of chilly night temps. Very
occasionally, I would find some pots knocked around, but no real damage.
(Do _not_, however, grow these plants next to carnivorous plants, if you
have them. Racoons and skunks love chewing on the protein filled pitchers
and will wreak havoc to anything around them.) Now, after finding the
Aroid-L, I have six times as many tubers to care for and they are mostly
very small tubers.

Guess I'll just have to be six times as careful. I need a _really_ good fence.

Kind Regards,

Rand

PS: We get heavy rains, spring to early summer and fall, and often hot
summers (long daylight period in the northern summer). If you mound, or
hill, your tubers; how do you counter soil erosion from rain and waterings
and how do you keep the tubers cool in a heat wave? I know that the ones
that I grow in pots have to be watered every sunny day.




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