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From: mmajor at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org (maurice major) on 1997.05.05 at 20:24:24(716)
>Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 11:34:41 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Lester Kallus
>To: Aroid list
>Subject: tillers for gardens
>I know the following message isn't specifically about Aroids, but it is
>about gardening so that I can grow some large aroids outside.
>It's finally spring here on Long Island and it's time to set up the new
>beds. This year, I want to have some large areas of colocasias, alocasias
>and caladiums with my few Amorphophallus mixed in.
>Long Island garden soil is essentially sand with a couple bits of organic
>material. My landscaper dropped off a huge mound of oak leaf compost and
>I'd like to mix that in. Tropicals usually do great in it.
You may want to forego the tiller entirely. On the Pacific atolls where some
of the varieties you mentione are grown as food crops, they also have a
sandy soil. They dig a pit and throw in organic matter, then plant. The
compost is concentrated in the planting hole, where the plant needs it.
Tilling would disperse it. Another problem with tilling (here, anyway, where
the winter does not kill off cormlets), is that tilling spreads bits of
corms and other remnant bits of the last crop, which then sprout. That mixes
varieties in the bed.

Then again, I cannot expect everybody to do their gardening with a stick.

Maurice (Stone-age, no, Wood-age Gardener)

From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.05.06 at 01:59:44(718)
Actually, there's very little fear of bits of corms being mixed in when the
winter air temperature drops to 0-5 degrees and the soil freezes solid.
I'm still waiting to see if my experiment to see just how zone 7'ish my
colocasias truly are. We had a 7b-8a winter yet I don't see a hint of
growth where last year's colocasias used to be.


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