Should Have Known Better
You may have read my earlier post where I wrote about how I wanted to grow morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) on my new tuteur.
Judy and I have a history with morning glories. We grew it in our first garden, if you can call it a garden. We had just moved in together, into an apartment on the third floor of an old three flat.
There was a rectangular yard behind the building, surrounded by a chain link fence, with an alley on one side and a row of four story apartment buildings on the other. The flora consisted of scruffy grass and weeds. There was also a dead evergreen tree, about three feet tall, that the landlord had planted in the center of the yard in a vain attempt at beautification.
Yet Judy and I were undaunted. We could make our first garden! With the landlord’s permission, we planted the seeds of morning glory ‘Heavenly Blue’ on the fence along the alley. The morning glories grew fast and completely obscured the chain link. In the morning they displayed large sky blue blooms that closed after lunchtime. Judy and I were thrilled every time we saw the fence covered in flowers, transformed into something beautiful.
We’ve grown morning glories in other gardens since then, always from seed and always ‘Heavenly Blue’, but not in the last few years.
Anyhow, enough history. Shortly after the middle of May I went to Anton’s garden center to find some seeds for ‘Heavenly Blue’. But before I bought the seeds, I saw that they were selling morning glory plants in little baskets. Oh, I thought, maybe these plants will bring me a week or two closer to having my tuteur covered with blue blooms. So I plunked down $6, several times the cost of a seed packet, and off I went.
Dumb. First of all, the roots did not fill the container, so when I removed the plant, the medium fell apart. The morning glories lost a bunch of roots as a result.
And once planted, they sulked and went into decline. The cool spring weather didn’t help, as these are plants who like it warm.
So a week later I went back to Anton’s to buy morning glory seeds. Before I got the seeds, though, I saw that they had more morning glory plants, these from a different grower. The vines looked so sturdy, the leaves so glossy, just a few inches tall, but still. I thought – why not? This time I plunked down $7.
You know how this ends, right? Some of the sturdy vines snapped during planting. Afterwards, these plants also sulked towards oblivion.
So another week goes by. It is now early June. Finally, I go to buy seeds, and actually buy seeds. I soaked them overnight, and planted them the next day. I await their emergence.
So what have we learned here? Something I kind of already knew, but forgot as a result of the mind control rays secretly emitted by most garden centers. Namely, it’s not worth paying for some plants as plants, seeds are cheaper and better. Morning glories are one of those.
This post is written as part of the Lessons Learned meme hosted by Beth at Plant Postings.