Sunday, March 25, 2012

Look what my Mandrakes are up to!

I wintered my Mandrakes (Mandragora officinarum) in the garage. I did NOTHING to them except to ignore them and make sure that no tools or snow shovels fell on them. In late winter I did check on them and  low and behold a few wee leaves were sprouting.

Wee little seedlings
I am not a natural gardener and I do not have a green thumb. I do like to grow vegetables but we live in an area where deer roam rampant! I try to sneak the veggies in hidden behind marigolds, calendula and white sage, none of which deer like.

I was so excited that the Mandrakes were still alive. They are two years old now. The roots will not be ready until year 4 or 5 , I think. Growing them is really tricky. The seeds are VERY slow to germinate, taking as much as a year to show signs of life. They do not like too much water nor do they like to be dry. They don't like too much sun but neither do the like too much shade. You see the dilemma, don't you?

Two weeks ago

This evening

Mandrakes have a long tap root and the main root which is the one that I hope will look like a little man, will keep growing until the tap root touches bottom. So, I will have to re-pot them soon into something much taller. Maybe garbage cans or fat PVC  pipe? I cant worry about that now. We have gorgeous early spring but we are going to have a few cool nights so I have to cover my seedling veggies & my baby mandrakes just in case it should freeze.

Will they scream when I re-pot them? Should I wear earmuffs?