Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. When I came back to the farm in 2013, dad had a small group of Cannas along the south side of the house. When fall came I supposed they would have to be dug up but dad said he just cut off the stems and lay them on top and they survive. Before, I remembered grandma always digging hers up and putting the tubers in the basement. I certainly had no issue with mulching them and leaving them in the ground, but I told dad that they should be mulched with leaves instead of their stems.
The thing I noticed most was dad’s Cannas had been in this spot for many years and had not spread that much. I explained to dad mulching with their stems was causing most of their tubers to either rot or not survive the winter.
So, in the fall of 2013, I mulched the Cannas with leaves. As you can tell, the colony is a little larger than in 2013.
Dad mentioned he would like the Cannas along the side of the garage and I thought that was a great idea. Funny, but I had also been thinking the same thing. So, in the spring of 2015, I dug a new bed and but the Cannas along the side of the garage. I know I planted them a little to close together but the bed was already twice the size as where they were. Of course, dad mentioned they were to close together. 🙂
One interesting thing was that the grasshoppers didn’t bother them here like on the south side of the house.
I didn’t take any photos of the Cannas in 2016.
The Cannas were looking very well when the above photo was taken on June 24, 2017. I told dad they drastically needed to be spaced out more and I would like to dig the bed the entire length of the garage.
Well, 2017 was definitely perfect for Cannas! I measured them and the tallest was around 12 feet tall. They seem to do their best in cramped conditions.
Now, this spring was strange and a lot of plants were slower to come up. I decided I would go ahead and start digging to extend the Canna bed. When I first started I noticed that they weren’t so thick. So many of the tubers didn’t even sprout but that hadn’t rotted either. In the above photo taken on May 14, I had dug the entire bed and put a few on each end. I had a plan but…
It was pretty hot during the day so I only worked on the bed after the area was in the shade after dinner until dark. The yard light helped some but I eventually had to stop. The neighbors may have realized how whacky I really was if I worked all night. I actually did that a few times in Mississippi, but that is a different story.
We had rain and I didn’t get to finish as soon as I wanted. As you can tell, they grew by the time I was able to get back into the bed. I had also been working on the fence around the hay field and mowing the yard and doing other things. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get finished.
I was NOT happy with the way it was turning out. So, on May 29 I think, I started removing ALL the Cannas out of the bed.
I had noticed a spot where I fed hay several years ago had no weeds growing on it (which was strange in itself), and a light came on in my head. After I had all the Cannas out of the bed, I went and got a couple of 5-gallon buckets of “THE GOOD STUFF’. Well, I could see that was going to be a slow process, so I hooked up the wagon and brought back a bigger load I mixed about half the load into the soil. The goal was to scatter the rest on top after I was finished.
Umm… I had put all the Cannas from the south side of the garage along the north side so they wouldn’t be in the sun during the day. I had no idea how long replanting them would take. They kept growing even though they weren’t even in the ground! It looked like so many now!
Then, one wheelbarrow at a time I took them to the bed and spaced them out better. Digging the hold the appropriate depth for each clump. Some were very large!
I finally finished the Canna bed on June 4 and I was very glad. The Cannas aren’t near as tall as they were this time last year, but at least the bed is finished. Looking back to the first photo in 2013 until now, I guess mulching with leaves did the trick. Even dad said they had done so well because of the leaves. I still have a wheelbarrow full of bulbs that didn’t come up. I have no clue what I am going to do with them…
Until next time, be well, stay positive, embrace life the best you can and GET DIRTY!