Ipomoeas, the common morning glory is grown by most gardeners in our area as a fast growing annual used in an area where complete coverage is necessary, and needed in a hurry. This relative to the sweet potato, can in one season, completely cover a wall or a trellis and bloom profusely in colors of blue, purple, red, pink and white. Each blossom opens in the morning and fades by the end of the day, with new blooms every morning. They will cling to anything such as strings, poles or trellises and likes full sunshine and generally poor soil. Too much water and fertilizer tends to make the morning glory grow more foliage and fewer flowers.

When planting morning glories from seed, directly into the ground, you must be sure that all danger from frost has past. The season is plenty long enough to get the full force of this plant but if you want to get a head start you can start the seeds indoors about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of the last frost date. (I would suggest around the 20th of April.) Morning glories do not like to have their root system disturbed so if you are going to start them indoors, use peat pots. It is also a good idea to soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing them.

Morning glories are annuals but they can become a real problem in the garden as they produce and drop seeds that survive even the coldest of winters. These plants can become evasive and get totally out of control so be careful to stay ahead of them. Out of control plants can be controlled with the use of Round-Up, or a similar type weed killer. It may take a couple of years, however since the weed killer has little effect on the seeds.

The Waynedale News Staff

Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & Greenhouses

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