A: The creature is wild cucumber vine, though I’ll admit the mass does resemble Bigfoot. Wild cucumber is a distant relative of our backyard cucumber, and it is an annual vine that grows every spring from seeds that had been beforehand shed from the rounded, spiny pods. It is extraordinarily vigorous, simply climbing 30 toes in a single rising season.
Being an annual, it’s killed by frost, which is seemingly what’s occurred to this dried vine. The roots don’t survive winter, but it surely seeds itself readily, because the spherical pods explode and eject seeds. As soon as established, it normally continues to emerge annually. Wild cucumber vines are often seen on riverbanks, alongside areas of native bushes and all through lakes nation. The vigorous vines can utterly cowl shrubs, bushes and the rest on which it finds assist.
What’s beneath the dried vines? Did the wild cucumber overtake Bigfoot? Out of curiosity, in case you enterprise to take a peek, tell us what the vines are climbing over.
RELATED COLUMNS: Kinzler: Squirrel stashing nuts, odd squash and sour apples | Skip raking and mow over leaves this fall for a healthier lawn | Kinzler: Mushrooms on tree, fall tilling and sand cherry pruning | Spice up your yard and landscape with fall color
Q: I’m questioning if it’s advisable to use weed-and-feed to the garden right now. — Lowell D.
A: Fertilizing in October is a good concept, however weed-and-feed is not very efficient this time of 12 months. The herbicide granules must cling to the leaves of actively rising weeds for efficient kill, they usually don’t have any considerable properties for stopping future weeds.
Though September is a chief time to manage weeds, by mid-October most weeds are quickly dormant, and the extremely efficient fall window of software is previous.
Weed-and feed merchandise are typically costly, in comparison with fertilizer alone. A greater choice in October is to use plain garden fertilizer. It is extra economical, and the herbicide granules do not have a lot, if any, impact now. Since we’re getting a little bit late for weed management, spring will probably be our subsequent window to handle weeds.
Q: I wish to save the tubers of candy potato vine over winter to start out new crops subsequent spring. Do I hold them in a cool fridge after which plant in potting soil in spring? I did that a very long time in the past by simply laying the tubers on the soil they usually sprout. Am I appropriate with that technique? — Lois B.
A: Decorative candy potato vine has turn out to be a favourite vining staple in out of doors pots and planters. In a number of kinds, together with lime inexperienced and deep purple, it’s an amazing accent together with flowering crops. It’s the identical species because the edible candy potato, and the tubers fashioned by the decorative vine are edible, even when not very palatable.
I’ve by no means tried saving the tubers to start out new crops, though I do know it’s profitable. Often we take cuttings of the plant, which root readily, and hold a number of crops rising in a sunny winter window. You’ve impressed me to additionally attempt the tuber technique.
From the websites I’ve studied about overwintering the tubers, many recommend storing round 50 levels in a cool, darkish spot, if accessible. The fridge could possibly be a little bit chilly for these warm-season tubers, but it surely is perhaps higher than a spot that is too heat. Some websites recommend storing them in a brown paper bag or in dry peat moss.
In late March or early April, lay the tuber horizontally in a shallow mattress of moistened peat or high-peat potting combine in a heat, sunny window, and observe the place roots and shoots type. The tuber can then be lower into chunks and potted, with every bit having roots and a shoot.
When you have a gardening or garden care query, electronic mail Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at firstname.lastname@example.org or name 701-241-5707. Questions with broad enchantment could also be revealed, so please embrace your title, metropolis and state for applicable recommendation.