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Elizabeth Ann May 7th, 2008 10:25 PM

Put Some Seeds in Some Dirt Today - Vine Question
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So I went out and got some Morning Glory seeds, some Moonflowers (Ipomoea Alba) seeds and some Scarlet Runner seeds and planted them in some long deep regtanglar planters to put at the bottom of the below cris-cross thing in the below pictures (to create some privacy).

So how crazy are these vines going to get?

Last year I only planted Morning Glorys and they really didn't fill out the way I wanted them too. Am I going to get full coverage this year (I planted A LOT of seeds)

want4rain May 8th, 2008 07:12 AM

hmm.... im not sure how they grow up that way (your short summer and all) but i usually soak my moonvines before planting them. soak them *just* until they sprout the tiniest piece coming out and then plant them a few small cm under the dirt, gently pat. i dont know how much privacy they will afford but they make very beautiful, fragrant flowers!!


badger May 8th, 2008 07:27 AM

I don't know how high that fence is but the scarlet runners (a very old variety) will go as high as you want and when they run out of things to cling to, will turn back on themselves and create a great tangle of vines. They make a very good screen and have beautiful flowers. Don't let the beans get too big before you eat them, they become very tough in the later stages (or leave them on the plant to dry out and you'll have plenty of 'seed' to plant next year). Personally, I think scarlets have the best flavour of all the string beans, way tastier than green and yellow bush beans, which are tasteless in comparison. If you plant all three together, they will climb over each other in their race to the top and you will have [I]quite[/I] a thicket. Morning glories will re-seed themselves year after year if you let them.

Elizabeth Ann May 8th, 2008 07:56 AM

I didn't know anything about these flowers when I purchased the seed packages (the morning glories however... I am using the seeds from last years vines).

I didn't know that the Scarlets made beans... I love beans.

Now I am super excited.

The cris-corss thingy is about 5 1/2 feet. As you can see the people behind us can look right into our patio. My other Half wanted to build a wood fence (to go with the gate he built last year) but I asked him to give me one more year to see if I can get this vine idea blooming.

I currently have these seeds in two long planter boxes in side my house right at the sliding glass door. I am hoping to give them a running start (so the weather and the animals don't get at them). I really want this plan to work.

Also - the package on the scarlets said they will atract humming birds, is this true?

badger May 8th, 2008 08:54 AM

How deep are your boxes? Scarlets will do less well in shallow soil, ideally it should be a foot or more deep. When I yank the vines at the end of the season, the root systems are quite impressive. The average window-box depth (5-7 inches) will not be sufficient.
Hummingbirds are attracted by the colour red. You may want to add a hummingbird feeder to make your courtyard even more attractive.

14+kitties May 8th, 2008 09:04 AM

I would be concerned about how strong that lattice is. These vines can get very heavy. They could topple the lattice. Maybe make sure it is reinforced.
Badger is right. The beans do have an impressive root system.
Also, you have your plants inside your house. Make sure you harden the little seedlings off before setting outside or you will lose them.
I planted scarlets around my gazebo last year. Very cute. I also have the glories and moonflowers there which come up every year. Hummers like any flower they can stick their little beaks into.

Elizabeth Ann May 8th, 2008 09:13 AM

I went to Tarra (sp) and got the deepest planters I could find (about a foot deep). They are not the window type but are called "Deck Planters".

I have put them in planters because the back planter there in the picture is full of roots from trees that are just outside of the picture. I can't really dig that easily and last year could only get about 7 inches down.

That planter box in the picture is 20 years old and when we moved in was completely over grown. There are left over roots. I would really like to dig up the whole box and start new but there is no where to put the old dirt.

As for the stregth of the lattis, it itself is not that strong but we have polls that we put into the ground (about three - four feet) and the tie the lattis to it. I held up last year with the morning glories, but you are right, if I am aming for more vines this year we may have to add a little more reinforcement.

My boyfriend loves hummingbirds so that's why I was asking the question regarding them.

want4rain May 8th, 2008 09:21 AM

what does 'harden the seeds off' mean??


badger May 8th, 2008 09:29 AM

[QUOTE]I would really like to dig up the whole box and start new but there is no where to put the old dirt.

Time to buy yourself one of those compact composters, made of tough plastic (usually black or dark green). They take up hardly any space and will provide you with the best fertilizer in the world. It will take all your kitchen waste (except meat or cheese, which attract rats; eggshells should be baked in the oven, crushed and then added), plus any clippings from your garden or worn-out soil (in fact a sprinkling of soil every couple of inches helps with the decomposition). You can buy a compost 'accelerator', which speeds the process, but it really isn't necessary.
And less garbage to send to the landfill!

PS Trim those roots, brutally. The tree won't mind.

CearaQC May 8th, 2008 09:32 AM

See if there are any gardeners near you that have compost bins/piles. They'll happily take the old dirt off you. Or make your own compost pile and put your kitchen scraps, lawn clipping, cardboard (like paper towel and tp rolls) and newspaper in it. Will save you some garbage to throw out and you get nice stuff to add back to your garden next year.

Scarlet runners will go everywhere - with vigor. Beware. :laughing::crazy:

A lot of people forget about the vining version of Nasturtium. The flowers/seeds are edible and would be great in a salad. Plus they have a mixture of red/orange/yellow flowers.

You don't have to dig, technically. You can get a delivery of a giant pile of good soil and just make raised beds and plant on top.

Or start out by laying an extra thick mulch over the area you want to kill, then work at it next year.

For added support, install some cut tree poles (poplar is good) or bamboo. Make a type of wigwam/teepee for the beans/flowers to climb on. There are also cutesy decorative things at garden centers for climbing vines.

If you planted in old dirt, the plants may not be happy there. Supplement feed with seaweed concentrate/fish emulsion. The beans will fix nitrogen in the soil and so don't need much fertilizer. But morning glories are slightly heavy feeders.

If you have any amount of space whatsoever, try and plant some salad greens. Many mixtures out there are quite colorful in their own right and taste way better (and cheaper too) than the stuff at the store. Baby lettuce grown at home only takes about 28-30 days and you can do what's called "cut and come again." Give them a "haircut" and they will regrow 3-4 times.

CearaQC May 8th, 2008 09:39 AM

[QUOTE=want4rain;590372]what does 'harden the seeds off' mean??


To gradually introduce plants to their future outdoor conditions. Typically, outside in sunlight during the day, in at night. Eventually you will be able to leave them out all night long. Once they take that well, they can be planted in their permanent spot.

Or, ideally, a cold frame. Anything from a cardboard box with a corrugated plastic or glass topper, to a fancy "greenhouse" setup with the cover. Cut off bottoms of 2 liter pop bottles and you have a nice mini greenhouse for individual plants.

Otherwise, take them outside when it's nice and bring them inside when it gets cold, yucky or too windy.

CearaQC May 8th, 2008 09:49 AM

[QUOTE=badger;590378]Time to buy yourself one of those compact composters, made of tough plastic (usually black or dark green). [/QUOTE]

Actually all you need if you want to do compost that way, is an old plastic trash bin. Cut out the bottom but keep the lid. To "turn" the compost, lift up the bin to let the stuff out, then put everything back in. A plain plastic trash bin will usually cost less than a named "composter" product.

Ideally you would want two or more of these containers. One to fill with new stuff, a second one for turning, or perhaps a third to keep completed compost in.

This year I'm going for the pallet version, with 3 or 4 bays. Still waiting on my pallets to be delivered. :laughing: Pallets are free, but I'm paying a low income guy $2 each to get some for me so he can have a few extra bucks.


Like the British gardener Monty Don from Gardener's World says, if you paid for a gym membership, cancel it and get a compost pile. :laughing:

Elizabeth Ann May 8th, 2008 10:37 AM

I wish I had enough room on my tiny patio for that, but we don't.

This is all very good advice I am getting her. I am getting more and more excited to see what's going to come of these seeds I have planted. :fingerscr

14+kitties May 8th, 2008 11:13 AM

[QUOTE=want4rain;590372]what does 'harden the seeds off' mean??


Yep, Ceara's right about the hardening off. But a lot of plants you can not put out for a whole day to start. Some you have to put out for an hour or so and increase the time (double it) each day for about a week. then the plants will be hardy enough to withstand anything (almost).

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