Not only did I snag some great plants at the Middle Tennessee Plant Swap last weekend but I got some terrific gardening tips from fellow swappers. Here are a few of my favorites. I wish I could remember who told me what so I could give credit where credit is due but I promise to take notes next time.
Jerusalem Artichokes: I've wanted these forever! Got some at the swap! The grower gave me the following tips about growing and eating: Plant in a sunny spot, the plants aren't hard to grow and will multiply freely - I translated that as slightly invasive. Harvest tubers in early fall, peel and cook. He said they taste like Macadamia nuts, are great in stir fry and full of vitamin C and other good things for our body. Leave enough in the ground to have a crop next year.
Mint: I was surprised that my Chocolate mint was one of the first things to go. Maybe is because it deters ants according to a nice lady I talked to. She said she plants a container under her humming bird feeder and the ants will stay away. She also said she plants it near her door too. Another tip from my humming bird lady was put a little Vaseline on the pole or chain of your feeder and ants will not climb into it.
On keeping deer from munching up your garden favorites: The first year my Camellia bloomed, a deer ate every bud off one of the bushes. I planted Anise Hyssop around all my Camellias and Hosta plants and no deer has bothered them since. I planted Marigolds, Lavender and Rosemary all around the perimeter of my vegetable garden this year to keep away the deer. We don't have rabbits in my area, could be the Coyote I saw early one morning that keeps them away. I'm not sure that I wouldn't rather have rabbits, at least they won't eat my dog.
I learned from another Tennessee Gardener on GardenWeb Forum that Angel Trumpets (Brugmansia) are easy to root in water. All you need to do is place your cutting in about 2 inches of water (too deep and the plant will rot) and wait a few weeks. It worked like a charm for me and this fall I plan to root new plants rather than winter over my gigantic plants!
I'd love for you to add your tips in my comments section. By the way, next Middle Tennessee Plant Swap is in October, watch their web site for correct date.