Tag Archives: Plant Discipline

Throwback Thursday: Morning Glory

Throwback Thursday: Morning Glory

Picture this…

Trailing emerald green vines of perfect heart shaped leaves winding their way up, stretching to the sun, reaching up to glory. Quietly unfolding brilliant azure disks, velvety orbs of stunning cerulean grandeur, beckoning sapphire treasures.

Heavenly Blue climber

Okay, they’re morning glories. But aren’t they beautiful? I mean, seriously, they’re stunning.

I love everything about morning glories. I love that these guys will just do their thing whether you watch them or not. But who can help but watch them?

When roses say, “Treat me nice and I’ll put on a show for you. “Morning glories say, “It’s whatever, I put on a show for me.” (I suppose if your plants are literally speaking to you, it may be time to adjust your medication, but that’s another post for another day.)

Today is for the morning glory.

Grandpa Ott

There are a zillion varieties, many colors and even different shapes and sizes. All of them are beautiful in their own way.

Some things you need to take in consideration when choosing your variety, length of vines, foliage virility. In other words if you want a mannerly morning glory that will fill out your fan trellis and stay put, choose a variety that plays that way. Some are very obedient, but others are impetuous and not content to only go where you want, you need to prepare for that and be ready to discipline them or let them go if you have the space.

Some can grow 15-20 feet in practically no time at all. They can make a great pergola specimen, a shabby- chic country porch addition, and adds heirloom charm to any outdoor space.

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Plant Discipline. It must be done.

Plant Discipline. It must be done.

I root for the underdog. I’m loyal to my team even when they lose. I still make excuses when my twenty year old throws a fit about taking out the trash. “He’s tired, he hasn’t been sleeping well lately.” When it comes down to it, I generally try to avoid the big d word.  Discipline. There, I’ve said it. Now if only that were enough.

Plant discipline. It must be done. What does this entail and, more importantly,  how do I get around it? When it comes down to it, there is no getting around it. Specifically this discipline, thinning seedlings, pruning, training climbers and weeding.

We put all our gardening hopes and dreams in to planting our microscopic seeds. We water them, but don’t over water them. We carefully weigh the pros and cons of the heated seed mats. We turn the peat pots exactly 1/4 of an inch every day so the light can evenly bathe our little beauties. So, what do the books say to do next?

“Rip up the weaker of the three, leaving only the strongest.” Are you kidding me?  They’re all my babies. How can I choose. Flashbacks of Sophie…the room is going dark…. Would I have kept Ryan because he could read when he was four but gotten rid of Patrick because he’s dyslexic? Okay, hold on, reign in the drama.

The simple fact is, if you weed your seedlings, the plant that remains will be stronger and you’ll get better yields from it. I completely understand that in my head. I completely know it is an absolute must to thin seedlings. So, here’s what I do instead.

For some plants, I just suck it up and clip them off at dirt level when the strongest seedling has reached four true leaves. I do this for plants that are easily disturbed. I clip instead of pulling because if you pull, you can disrupt the roots of the strong plant you are intending to keep.

With germination rates of seeds, it is important to plant more seeds than plants you actually want. However, seeds do have a much higher chance for germination than in bygone years.

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