Tater surprise

I have been a TERRIBLE blogger* lately. And an equally appalling gardener.

OK, now that’s out of the way.

Here come the excuses…

First, the FREAK Halloween snow… the cold… the power outage (less than 24 hours for us, admittedly). I was just NOT ready for winter in October, despite my major freak-out a few weeks ago, when I bundled up all my favorite plants and dragged them inside for “saving.” (You all know where this is going.) I mean, I still had have dozens of bulbs to plant. (If I could just figure out where…)

Goodbye, fair Celosia

The crazy storm just sent me into a deep garden funk. Followed by serious inertia. Yeah, I brought all my succulents in off the “three-season” porch. And the coleus and begonias made it into the basement. Along with the mad scientist begonia/gesneriad propagation lab. (Whole ‘nother topic…. FAILING!) I had good intentions. I didn’t completely eff up, right out the gate. But I just find myself completely uninspired.

Most of said plants have been living sadly in the basement since the day before the big snow, almost two weeks ago! I turn the lights on during the day and try to remember to water, but many are not looking very happy. A full and gruesome report on that later.

Anyway, the other night, I finally got some energy up and started repotting plants, moving things around, bringing some friends upstairs, trying to find light for everyone. And what do I find in one of my big planters? Three healthy sweet potatoes at the end of the vine!  (The fine specimens above.) Shocking. I have inadvertently grown something people eat.

Tater mom

I don’t know if this yellowing mother vine is going to make it, especially since I basically just threw it in this bucket with very little dirt and put it back outside. Guess I’ll have to investigate that further. Suddenly, it just seems like so many plants need a new pot, new home, place in the sun. I can’t move fast enough.

(And I have a confession to make to my garden: I’ve been cheating on you with the gym every day. Now, that’s the real problem!)

Anyway, finding these taters was an awesome surprise that definitely put a little spring in my shovel. I had half a mind to chop them up, throw them on the stove and and douse them in brown sugar and butter, but then I started Googling. And it turns out, these tubers will make new plants. (Duh!)

So here they now live… waiting for roots.

Reminds me of a '70s Electric Company crafts project

I’m making new plants after all.

Here’s hoping these beautiful purple taters will give me the inspiration I need to… root some more coleus cuttings before I kill all my plants DEAD for real**… set up a big old plant table in a well-lit window upstairs… (have decided our third floor is too cold in winter for the full coleus farm. Bummer.)…repot some successful house plants and succulents that need new homes… rake up those goddamn soggy leaves in the front yard… clean out my pathetic, snow-damaged flower beds… plant some tulip bulbs in the not-yet-perma-frozen ground… oh, and look for more giant tubers in my other big planter!

I am sure there’s more to do.

Goal: workout in the yard this weekend.

*I take some comfort in the reports of longtime blogging friends, who assure me creativity, energy, and productivity come in waves for we indie writers. In other words, sometimes you skip a few weeks. Sometimes, you post every day. True?

*With the onset of winter, I can already feel the old careless Plantkiller growing stronger… ignoring formerly beloved plants and their obvious cries for help. I hope I don’t lose everything inside during the grim New England six-month winter. Must fight on. Must stay… focused!


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About plantkiller

Paysha Rhone is a wife, mother, former-journalist-turned-PR-maven and bad mamajama killing plants in the Victorian splendor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Keep hope alive, Wallowing in death and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tater surprise

  1. Nic says:

    That’s so cool you got potatoes from the vine! I had no idea they’d actually produce. I usually have that vine in my window boxes and believe me, I’ve never seen veggies come from them. Maybe it’s because you’re getting a green thumb??

    • plantkiller says:

      Ha! What a crazy idea! 🙂

      I was totally shocked. I read they can do this if they have enough room…. but these planters also housed pretty big coleus and dusty miller. Nuts, right? It was such a fun surprise. Just when I needed some oomph. How do you fight the winter gardening blues… or do you (as mentioned previously) just completely bag everything and focus on watering the house plants? 🙂

      • Nicole says:

        I embrace extreme seasonal transformation and bag everything, with joy, come fall. Winter is here? Ok. Season of death. I accept. I have 1 house plant (because I killed our aloe, if you can believe that, or it would be 2). Only the Christmas cactus remains. I have a 15″ olive tree and some other trumpet flower I bring in for the winter. But come May, I’m at the garden centers enjoying the freshness and springy-ness of it all again.

  2. Yes, I too am an inconsistent blogger. Especially in the winter time when the outside garden is covered in snow (sorry to use such a dirty word).

    How do I keep up the gardening spirit during the cold, nasty New England Winters? Not very well. I force bulbs some winters. I pout. I focus on my houseplants (I don’t have enough windows for them all!). I pout. I read gardening catalogs and order things I have no space for come spring. I pout. I take up snow shoeing. But mostly I pout.

    • plantkiller says:

      That all sounds very familiar. I think I have been pouting already. Oh, and working out A LOT!
      I thought I was going to do this big indoor propagation thing but the space I wanted to use is too cold and I don’t want to heat a whole floor just for the plants. So, I also don’t have enough sunny windows… I think at one point I made a big list of gardening things to do in winter. I’ll have to go back to that. Though I’m sure I’ll have as much success with that as with my lengthy outdoor clean up list right now!

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