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Starting/storing Apios americana and Stachys affinis without land?  RSS feed

 
Fredy Perlman
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Location: Mason Cty, WA
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I just got a package of the above tubers.

I don't expect to have land to plant them in for at least a month, and I've read the stachys don't keep long.

Can anyone recommend the best way to start, or store, them? (The stachys, being in the mint family, I could probably throw in a fire full of glass and it'd grow gangbusters .) I don't mind doing either; I just want what's best for them. Thanks!
 
Dave Hunt
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Location: NJ
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Hi Fredy,
The apois Americana or common called ground nut around here will do fine in a cool dark place for a month. That being said if your groundnut has already been stored for awhile you could always put them in a large pot. That way if they do begin to grow you can carefully transplant them to their final planting site. You can use a potting soil in the pot or find some native soil near a creek bed and fill your pot with that. Ground nuts are often found in nature near streams and river beds.
Unfortunately I don't have any first hand knowledge of stachys affinis but like you said mints are very hardy so they probably will get by okay no matter what you do.
Good luck with them and let us know how everything turns out.
 
Rob Read
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Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
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Based on my experience with Stachys affinis (Chinese Artichokes), they will keep well in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for at least several weeks, and likely a month. You might want to put in a damp paper towel/newspaper to keep them a bit moist. Humid and cool/cold is what you are looking for - trying to keep them dormant. If they are already sprouting when they arrive, I would agree with the advice of potting them up. I did mine one per pot, so they would form little clusters, that could them be spread around the place.

I started most of mine in little peat pots last year, planning to plant them out in the ground when they are bigger. They're still in peat pots now, outdoors, planted under ground level, and under glass/screen to protect from rodents. No action yet that I've noticed this spring, so hoping they survived the winter.

Good luck.

 
Fredy Perlman
Posts: 64
Location: Mason Cty, WA
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Thanks to you both.They started sprouting on their own, in the bags, probably while I was writing this. I started them in trays with a lightweight potting mix, some worm castings, and some Foxfire potting soil. Since then they've grown this much, lookit em go. Crosnes in the foreground, ground nuts in the back.
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Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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My very observant sister found some Apios tubers along the lake edge near her place. She'd never heard of them but thought they looked "interesting" so she asked me if I knew what they were. She was NOT impressed when I began squealing and jumping up and down with excitement in a manner unseemly for a man of my age and girth. (I was excited because they are an often-discussed plant in permaculture circles but I never expected to find wild ones, and I did not figure I'd be able to prioritize a budget to order any for a few years.)

I stored mine in a plastic bag in my fridge for a couple of weeks and all they did was sprout a little bit. Planted them out and after thinking about things for about three days, they put up about four inches of new stem growth overnight. I am feeling like they are not very fussy!
 
Nicole Alderman
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I don't know that they are not fussy. I ordered mine this February from http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/ground_nut.html. I ordered 25 and probably got 30 tubers. I planted them all that day, some in our duck yard, some by our shed, and four each in two pots filled with soil from our wetlands. All our soil is moist, wetland-esk soil. Of all the tubers I planted, only one sprouted (in the pot filled with soil by our stream). One grew out of 30. I have no idea what went wrong in this process, but obviously they can be killed without trying!
 
Fredy Perlman
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Location: Mason Cty, WA
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Nicole, I'm wondering if your soil was too wet for them. I had originally thought to plant them in wetlands, but then I read that they prefer well-drained soil, and in any event couldn't simulate wetlands in flats. Planted in flats in a mix of 33% Foxfire potting soil 33% Long Island Compost potting mix (heavy crap, mostly composted bark) and 33% vermicompost castings (and 1% LOOOOOOOOOOVE lol), they are exploding, obviously dying to be in the ground. As they get bigger I am having a hard time moving them around to keep them away from mice as I wait for my land. The mice dig up the tubers, which is a good foretaste of the protection they'll need when planted.

In Stachys updates, they really don't like being in trays. Several have wilted. And the mice love the greens, the tubers only a bit less; they ate the greens off all the ones they could reach, and when one dug up a tuber I put the tray with its 5 survivors on the roof. Over half have gone



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