November 18, 2019

Harvesting Broom Corn

If you’re looking for something easy and interesting to grow in the garden next year, consider broom corn - the distant sweet corn relative once widely grown as a housekeeper's helper.

Native to Central Africa, broom corn, Sorghum vulgare, a variety of sorghum in the plant family Poaceae, is a plant with a variety of uses, both functional and ornamental. This hardy annual, also known as broom straw, is a tall grass that forms broad, tasseled, fan-shaped heads, ranging from 16 to 20 inches long. This year, we grew some broom in one corner of my vegetable garden. And last month, it was harvested, hung to dry, and then brought indoors as a pretty fall arrangement.

Here are some photos, enjoy.

November 16, 2019

Storing Dahlia Tubers for Winter

Our dahlia digging and storing project continues at the farm.

Dahlias are frost-tender tuberous plants that can overwinter outdoors where the weather is mild. However, here in the Northeast, severe winter conditions will cause them to split and rot, so they must be pulled from the ground and stored away every fall. Several days ago, my gardeners uprooted all the dahlia tubers, rinsed them and set them inside the temperature and humidity-controlled greenhouse where they could cure. Now, they are ready for storing.

Enjoy these photos and tips.

November 15, 2019

Digging up Dahlia Tubers for Storage

If you live anywhere but the warmest regions of the United States, it’s time to dig up and store those precious dahlia tubers.

When in bloom, dahlias provide some of the garden's biggest and most spectacular flowers in many different sizes, forms, and colors. This year, my dahlias were especially productive - I made dozens of arrangements for my home. However, native to Mexico, dahlias are not winter-hardy and tend to split in freezing temperatures or mold in soggy, wet soil. This week at my Bedford, New York farm, my gardeners dug up all the dahlia tubers, so they could be stored indoors for the cold season.

Here is our step-by-step process. Enjoy these photos.