Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Mad Plant Grower

No, I'm not a plant scientist, or a hybridizer.  Rather, I can see myself in my retirement, trying to grow things that are a bit out of the normal sphere of gardening.

I'm not ready to retire yet, nor is my spouse.  But, we are trying some of that experimentation.

Some experiments succeed.  Some fail.

A success?  Growing ginger, something we never thought would grow in our zone 5b garden in the Binghamton area of upstate New York, until we saw a vendor in the Ithaca, New York farmers market selling young, locally grown ginger.  Then, someone in our Otsiningo Park Farmers Market sold it.  So we tried growing a pot of ginger (from roots purchased in an Asian food store) last year, and got a marvelous harvest.
This year, we are trying again.  The ginger started to germinate on June 27.  When it is further along, I will give you an update.

A failure? Our pawpaws.  Last year, we located some in a localvore store, and stratified the seeds in the refrigerator.  We then planted in small pots.

Nothing ever happened.

We aren't giving up, but I don't think we have a success.  Hopefully we will be able to try again this fall. 

Have you tried any experiments with plants?  How did it work out?

14 comments:

  1. I cheat. I buy the seeds and grow them. (I knew some real fresh stuff would grow- but I'd rather eat them and buy the seeds :-) )

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    1. Oh, but getting plants out of stuff from a store is half the fun! (for me, anyway.)

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  2. I love hearing about gardening adventures like this one, Alana! I've got some ginger growing in my hoophouse and I am pretty proud of those slow-growing but precious spears! I hope the roots are growing faster than the part aboveground!

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    1. I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised, Amy. If you can't grow ginger, no one can. Your climate is warmer than ours, if it is anything like Iowa's.

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  3. I tried a coffee tree once. The plant flourished. It grew and grew attaining a majestic five feet tall and about half as much wide. An awful lot of indoor floorspace. Beans? One. Just the one.

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    1. I have a coffee tree! No, seriously, I have a small coffee tree at work. Really small. I love its glossy leaves. You did good, Rusty Duck! I don't expect mine to ever flower. My coffee comes from Green Mountain.

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  4. I am not the gardening type but this sounds very interesting. I bet that you learn a lot of useful life skills from gardening that we take for granted. Interesting......

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    1. Gardening is a good skill to have. If the animals and insects don't eat everything, it's quite relaxing, too.

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  5. I have to give ginger a try. I have a pretty green thumb. My tomato plants, like everything in the raised beds are doing fantastic. 1st year for raised beds.

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    1. I would say - try the ginger. What would you have to lose? Good luck!

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  6. I grew ginger in the back garden beside other plants a few years ago. But paw-paw! It grows in a tropical climate. We didn't grow it in South Australia, but came across it in tropical Queensland when we did a 1 year tour of the country in the 1970s.

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    1. I think the paw paws you are thinking of may be what we call custard apples. They don't grow here, true. The paw paws I am talking about are native to the Eastern United States, although I think we are on the northern edge of where they will grow.

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  7. A ginger is a good idea for my mini garden here. Thank you for reminding!

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  8. We tend to grow things from seeds.
    I have to admit that out patio is looking pretty glorious at the moment! I'd love to grow my own ginger!

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