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  • Page 16 of 16 FirstFirst ... 613141516
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    Thread: "Pond"ering

    1. #301
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      Is winter near? The rain has come in strong, having started Saturday night and has not stopped. A storm front has staled over us so we will be getting this rain for three more days, and then we are predicted to have sunshine for the following week, and temps will return to the upper 70's and lower 80s. Not as hot as it has been, but temps that we can work in outside and in the greenhouse to start shutting things down. Winter could come early, and in a hurry, I have heard.
      Looking through my bags of tropical lily tubers that did not get planted out this year, I noticed a bag of Blue Aster tubers that had not been planted out but had nice sprouts on them, making nice little plants. I started thinking about all of the nicer varieties of lilies that we just didn't have room to plant out this year that we will be storing for another winter. Not only did I not have enough room to plant them out, i did not have the time. Another reminder of why I need to downsize.
      I have not mentioned, that I remember, that we also have some brug plants, most often called trumpet plants. They are also potted up and have to be brought in as well as the potted Kimberly ferns. They are all in large pots, about 20 gallon sized, so they take up a lot of room. The ferns are put around the pond as well as the front of our house. We have to rearrange things in the greenhouse to get them in there, but i think we will store them in the garages instead. The brugs have started blooming and are beautiful! Fall blooms help cushion the coming of winter!
      Another thing that brought smiles to my face are the aquarium fish that we have put in some of the greenhouse ponds to eat the mosquitoes. We have mosquito fish in the ponds, but the tropical aquarium fish provide color as well. I noticed a few days ago that the paradise fish have spawned and there are 5 or 6 babies in there that I can see. The ponds have lilies and plants in them so they are not easily seen, but these babies are now about an inch long!
      Lets keep "pond"ering as our ponds are becoming the dreams for winter.
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    2. #302
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      Today I started rearranging things in my garages and in the greenhouse to make room to bring things i for the winter. During the summer the brugmansias, ferns and potted banana trees are all take outside. Additional ponds are put down in the greenhouse to house sprouting planted tubers and some divisions. The hardy plants can be moved outside now that they have time to get established in their pots. Tropical tubers can be harvested, bagged and stored in 5 gallon buckets. They will be stored under the house in the crawl space. Winter is coming!
      I have also been trying to reduce my inventory to reduce my work load. I need to empty the half barrel plastic tubs that no longer have plats i them and now get the water out. This should mean at least 50 tubs will be empty, and can be removed. Will be a big help not having to groom them all, spray and dust them, or divide and re-pot them. Will be nice to see them gone.
      So again, enjoy your pondering as we remember this past summer, and dream of next year!
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    3. #303
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      Sometimes when I or others post pics of night blooming lilies people ask when they bloom. They want to know when to be able to see the blooms. The truth of the matter is that different varieties' blooms open at various times, and close at various times. They do not have precise times, but can open generally from 6 to 8 pm and stay open until as late as 10 am. Today as I walked back to the lilies I noticed the night blooming tropical Jennifer Rebecca was still open. It was 1:30 pm! It is a gorgeous red night bloomers!
      After dividing my HXT lilies, I had the first bloom from one today. I am showing it here. It is Violicious, from Mike Giles. A real beauty!
      So pondering the work ahead to get ready for winter, i am still comforted by some blooms.
      Happy "pond"ering!
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    4. #304
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      Well, it is October! Just the name reminds us that fall is near, with winter to quickly follow. We are busy here trying to get things ready. So much to do, so little time....
      The late summer brings with it some rewards however. Today as I was walking through the ponds, I noticed that the Euryale Ferox plants had indeed made seeds so assurance of another year of plants! There were some dark brown seeds floating, but there were also bout ten seeds that I saw that are new seeds! I again was concerned over the blooms being small, but the seeds i saw are average sized, about the size of a large green pea.
      Not only were there new Euryale Ferox seeds floating, there were lots of tropical vip lily plantletts. We pulled them out of the tubs and put them in buckets, by variety and planted up several of each into shallow pots. We then put the small pots into aquariums with water only about 8 inch deep water. This way the plants will get plenty of sunshine, and warmth, and s the plants grow we will increase the water depth.
      It was also time to trim up the potted banana plants and fertilize them, as well as the ferns. We will be bringing them into the green house soon so they will have a few weeks to green up before we bring them in.
      Time to go back to work. Happy "pond"ering.
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    5. #305
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      Rain has been off and on the last two days, with thunderstorms throughout the day. Gives me a break to post a bit.
      Looking around the greenhouse I took notice of the pond full of the tiny lily Minuta. There are about 20-25 potted lilies in the pond and they have been blooming all summer. I had noticed the blooms, and how well the plants were doing, but had not thought about how well the plants make seed. I pondered that today as i looked at the large number of tiny plants growing from seeds in the bottom of the pond. The plants are not known to easily make tubers (if at all), and this being my first year having the plants, i do not know if any of the plants will tuber. I have not tried to store seeds, so I may need to take some of these seedlings and put them into pots and put them in an aquarium for the winter. The mother plants did not grow very quickly when I did that last winter, but the little plants survived! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of the seedlings, so maybe some will survive. Notice them on the bottom of the pond in the pic.
      Walking around in the greenhouse and observing the plants, it also came to my attention that one of the leaves of a Mickey Mouse taro was almost completely yellow. Although the pads often have some yellow or cream coloring in a leaf, there are not many that are all yellow or all white. Mickey Mouse taros are among my favorites, and although it is not a well formed Mickey Mouse shaped leaf, the yellow leaf is beautiful! A "normal' leaf is also pictured.
      Time to take some boxes to the post office. Happy "pond"ering!
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    6. #306
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      Since July 17 when I first started this thread I have enjoyed sharing with this group my love of ponds and the plants that are in them. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences, frustrations, opinions and learning moments (mistakes ). You have had opportunities to get to know me and my desire to expand the hobby. I did not have goals or purpose other than to share and to learn together. With over 300 posts and 20,000 views, I hope we have enjoyed “pond”ering together.
      As we are closing ponds I have been frequently asked about storing tropical lily tubers for the winter. I will attempt to describe how I do this as it is what I have learned from others, and what works for me. With differing varieties and differing temperate zones, your experiences may be different.
      Tubers are found below the crown among the roots of the plant. I describe them as not like froths ranging in size from the six of a green pea to the size of a large egg. Sometimes you will find a lot of these in a pot, sometimes only one. Occasionally, if it was a new purchased plant tha did not have a tuber already formed when you bought the plant, there may not be a tuber. Before frost, when the water starts getting cold, it is time to get the tubers out of the pots. Most often, this can be done by simply using your fingers to probe the soil (mud) to dig them out or break them off from the plant, trying not to harm the tuber. Once removed, rinse the tuber to remove the soil.
      Once removed, simply put the tuber in a zippered baggie and cover the tuber with very slightly damp sand or peat moss. This will keep the tuber from getting too dry out to much and die, but allow it to keep from remaking so wet that it rots. You only need enough sand to cover the tuber. Once done, close the bag up and seal it to prevent the sand from drying out over the winter.
      Place the bag in a box or whatever you choose to put the bag in for storing that will keep the tubers in the dark. Place this in a place where it will stay between 45* and 55*. Leave it there until spring.
      Happy “pond”ering!
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    7. #307
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      I'm curious if lotus are stored like tropical lilies? I'm not sure if the lotus I started from seeds this year
      produced tubers but if so, what do I do with them to see if I can get them to bloom next year?
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    8. #308
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      Quote Originally Posted by matherfish View Post
      Rain has been off and on the last two days, with thunderstorms throughout the day. Gives me a break to post a bit.
      Looking around the greenhouse I took notice of the pond full of the tiny lily Minuta. There are about 20-25 potted lilies in the pond and they have been blooming all summer. I had noticed the blooms, and how well the plants were doing, but had not thought about how well the plants make seed. I pondered that today as i looked at the large number of tiny plants growing from seeds in the bottom of the pond. The plants are not known to easily make tubers (if at all), and this being my first year having the plants, i do not know if any of the plants will tuber. I have not tried to store seeds, so I may need to take some of these seedlings and put them into pots and put them in an aquarium for the winter. The mother plants did not grow very quickly when I did that last winter, but the little plants survived! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of the seedlings, so maybe some will survive. Notice them on the bottom of the pond in the pic.
      Walking around in the greenhouse and observing the plants, it also came to my attention that one of the leaves of a Mickey Mouse taro was almost completely yellow. Although the pads often have some yellow or cream coloring in a leaf, there are not many that are all yellow or all white. Mickey Mouse taros are among my favorites, and although it is not a well formed Mickey Mouse shaped leaf, the yellow leaf is beautiful! A "normal' leaf is also pictured.
      Time to take some boxes to the post office. Happy "pond"ering!
      Those Mickey Mouse Xanthosoma look so good
      "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song
      still in them."
      I wish I could sing

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    9. #309
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      Thanks, Gander.
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    10. #310
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      I was about to stop posting on this thread until I had a few questions emailed to me this past week that gave me "pond"erance, (another word I made up ) so I decided to post a few more times to make public the topics and my answers.
      I ship a lot of plants throughout the ponding season, and there are a few terms that I often use. Here are my definitions, in my layman's terms.
      Tropical lily tuber- A tuber is a part of the stem which is covered with a hard shell-like casing that grows below the ground. It is generally rounded, and resembles a nut. Plants sprout from it and feed somewhat from it. It can be the size of a green pea to the size of an extra large egg.
      Rhizome- The hardy water lily "stem" that grows horizontally underground and produces new plants from rhizome offshoots. It can grow several feet long. New plants are formed generally from the end or tips of the rhizome. The plant feeds off of this rhizome and roots are grown from the bottom.
      Seedling- This is a baby plant which grows from seeds. Sometimes plants will produce seeds and the seeds sprout in the pot or in the muck in the bottom of the pond. The plants are the product of two plants, so they are generally hybrids, and not true to the mother or father plant. It may resemble one or the other more, but the DNA will be different.
      Plantlet- A small plant produced from the nodules on viviparous leaf pads on some tropical lilies. Although the word is actually used to identify all small plants, I mainly use it in the way I described to further identify the source of the plant.
      Bare root- Plants are shipped "bare root," meaning they are shipped without soil or substrate. This saves on shipping costs because you are not paying for the weight of the soil. It also allows the plant to be shipped in a safer manner because the weight of the soil will not be placed on the plant at any tie during the shipping.
      Hope this helps. Happy "pond"ering!
      Last edited by matherfish; 10-08-2018 at 08:50 PM.
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    11. #311
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      I like this thread
      "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song
      still in them."
      I wish I could sing

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    12. #312
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      Today I want to continue with my thoughts as to my explanation of terms. i hope they are of benefit to all who read this
      Sprouted tubers- Having given the definition of a tuber, I want to talk about what a sprouted tuber is, in particular, tropical water lilies. A tuber is what is planted to produce a growing plant and to propagate new, additional plants. However, tubers can become "spent," meaning that although it looks viable, it may not produce a plant. One of the ways to test for viability of a tuber is to place it in water, and if it sinks it is considered to be viable. Another check is to squeeze it, and if it is soft or squeezable, it is not viable. However, even if it sinks and is hard, it can still be no good.
      This is why I use the term "sprouted tuber." It is a tuber that has green growth showing on it. When separating tubers, I rinse the tuber off and then look for any growth showing, even if it is a tiny speck. That tiny speck lets me know that a plant is coming from the tuber. I then think of the tuber as being "alive." Once the sprout has developed to have the form of plant, I sometimes use the term "small plant" to identify that the sprout is fully formed, but not mature.
      For most tropical lilies, new plants are produced from tubers. Tubers will produce the same plants genetically. Plants from seeds will not, unless both parent plants are the same species plant. So to continue to have the same variety, it is important that the plant produce a tuber, or tubers.
      Buying sprouted tubers assures that you will have a tuber that will produce a plant, because it already has a plant developing. Buying a tuber with a small plant gives you the same assurance. Buying a mature plant does not guarantee that you will get a tuber. Many growers take the tubers off of their plants when shipping so that they can use the tuber to produce more plants. Your mature plant should produce a new tuber, but may not. For those not in zones 9 and higher, you know that the tuber is what you store over the winter to plant the next year for continuous plant enjoyment.
      I will continue this tomorrow, but for a brief distraction, pictured is a water hyacinth bloom from yesterday. It is a plant that has to be kept under control, but it is also definitely beautiful.
      Happy "pond"ering!
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    13. #313
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      Still pondering! Another question that is often asked pertains to the planting medium to use for your plants. This is a question that can be given many answers, many of which depends on personal preferences and availability. I will try to give my choice and my reasoning, as well as why I do not use some of the other choices.
      Planting medium- This is what you plant your plant in. Other than floating plants, such as hyacinths, lettuce, azolla, duckweed, etc., plants need to be planted for optimum growth.
      Often people ask about planting lilies, because they think that they see the leaves (pads) laying on the top of the water that they just float like hyacinths. That is not the case. Lilies, in all forms, need to be rooted in soil. I have divided plants for shipping, and left the divisions in a tub pond until I get the chance to pot the remaining plants up. If left for very long, the plant's condition diminishes. Their roots do not absorb the nutrients from the water as effectively as floating plants do. They must be planted!
      Planting mediums primarily can be sand, or soil, or clay, such as cat litter or some commercial varieties for pond plants. Sand and clay will help anchor your plants but neither have the nutrients naturally in them that soil does. If you use these mediums, frequent fertilization is essential. If using soil, do not use soil that has mulch, peat moss, or other soil enhancing things added to them. These things might be great in your landscaping but they make a mess in a pond. Bags of "top soil" often also contain these enhancers. A soil with some clay in it is ideal, in my opinion. I get pure, sifted top soil from my local garden center, or from somewhere that they are digging in the soil for a project. In the past I just dug the soil from my yard, but have too many pots to do that now.
      Enjoy your day and keep on "pond"ering!
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    14. #314
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      In my "pond"erings today and since last Wednesday I have been thinking about those who have been affected by hurricanes Michael and Florence. The amount of rain fall and flooding is tremendous. The devastation is heart breaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they move forward.
      "Pond"ering this, I also thought about pond owners who had to cut off their pumps and anchor down equipment, and many also netted their ponds. Reading about these precautions gave me reason to think about their fish and plants being caught up in the flooding and being washed into new places, into lakes and streams. It would seem unavoidable for this to happen. Sometimes the best we can do is not enough, but it is all that we can do.
      As we consider these things, I want to reflect back on my discussion of pond terms. For those new to ponding, I want to explain the terms for fertilizing your plants.
      Pond tablets- are what I use to fertilize my plants. These are not found in your general merchandise store, and not always found in garden centers. They are tablets made specifically for water plants and are in the form of a pellet about the size of an acorn. They are made so that you cn push them down into the soil to get them down to where the roots are, and then can be covered with soil to prevent their nutrients from seeping into the water creating greater algae growth. These tablets ca be ordered online from several places, just search the web and you can usually get them in a matter of a few days.
      Transplant shock- Whenever plants are dug up, and the soil washed off of them, the plant suffers somewhat. When they are then packed and shipped, it causes greater distress for the plant. The amount of stress depends on the heat or cold the plant endures during shipping, the length of time that it is in shipping and how it is packed. Many times when I get plants in that I have ordered, especially lilies, even though I immediately put the plants in water, many of the leaves will wilt and die. The beautiful plant that was shipped does not look so good when it arrives with wilted leaves. This is due to transplant shock. Generally, it takes a plant a few days to a week to recover, but depending on the conditions the plant suffered, it may take longer.
      Also "pond"ering today's temps which dropped down into the 40's last night as a reminder that fall is here and winter is soon coming. With that in mind I had my grandson, who is 5'6" stand in front of the banana trees for one last pic before they are once again cut down to the ground. He is standing on the sidewalk in front of them so he is about 12" below the ground that the bananas are on. This is what they did since being cut to the ground last winter.
      Happy "pond"ering!
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      The weather has definitely turned "fall." Cooler weather also brings about better working conditions in some ways. It won't be so hot that it zaps energy, but the colder water will also mean I will work faster. Can't keep my hands in that cold water for log as we begin harvesting tubers soon. Many of you are already facing this so you know what I am talking about.
      One of the decisions that I must make ad that I am "pond"ering is what to do with the numerous viviparous plantlets we have harvested. I could plant them out but we have more than can be plated and kept over the winter. We have already planted several of each variety, and they are in a pod in the greenhouse. I could put them in a heated aquarium to continue their growing, but it would be hard to do that with as many varieties of vips that I have and keeping them separate so as ot to confuse any. The third choice would be to just let them grow their tiny tuber and store the tubers as with other tubers. I am leaning towards the last solution, but still have not made a final decision.
      Another thing that I am pondering is the marginals. They have really grown this summer and there are lots of them, so I may have to cut them back drastically to store them easier, and then let them flourish out next spring. That will probably be my decision on those. In the past I have just let them continue to grow in the greenhouse through the winter, and that may be why they have multiplied ad grown as they have.
      So, as I ponder these and other little decisions I realize may of you are making your decisions for the winter. Good luck with your choices. Unfortunately, we have very little time to make a decision and react. Fortunately, the decisions are not major in the grand scheme of things.
      Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket to get warm, and let's start "pond"ering next year's pond!
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    16. #316
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      Life seems busy this time of the year, and some of the major holidays are right around the corner which will bring more work and enjoyment. Have you started getting ready for the holidays? I haven't!
      Well, today as I was going about my work I hit the back of my forearm up against a post, and scraped it pretty good. At my age, my skin tears easily and so the skin got pulled back and the blood started dripping. One of the nice things that I have in the greenhouse is a sink, so when cuts or scrapes happen, they can be quickly rinsed off. I also keep anti-bacterial soap in there to wash my hands off (which I do several times a day), and also to wash cuts out. Well, I did that and put a paper towel over the scrape and went to get a band-aid. I looked in the first aid drawer where the bandages are kept, but all I could find were children's bandages.
      There were regular bandages but they were round dots, and then there were some that were about 2 inches wide for big cuts, so nether of those would work. I went with the child's bandage. It works fine, but is covered with bugs. Oh well, it is Halloween!
      We have brought all of the potted plants into the greenhouse, and have put most of the tropical tubers in bags for storage, so guess we are going to be ready for winter in a few more weeks. Not happy with the thought of winter coming!
      Happy "pond"ering!
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    17. #317
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      Good morning ponders. Fall has fallen on us here in Tennessee with the first killing frost falling this past week. Today we are going up to the mid 60s during the day, but we were down to freezing last night. Tomorrow is predicted to be the same. Not what I want to hear.
      Today we are moving the tropical lily pots into the greenhouse. We will begin harvesting the tubers over the next week or so, but having them in the greenhouse will make it easier to harvest them because the water and air temps will be warmer. You all know that when it is 34* outside and the water is cold it is no fun putting your hands in that cold water!
      I am also cutting down the banana trees today. They will freeze and die if I don't. it is sad to cut down such beauties but I know they will grow back next year.
      I had had a hole in the greenhouse top where the wind had torn part of the plastic away from where it was nailed into the gutter. We fixed that last week, just in time before this cold spell hit. I also got out one of the torpedo heaters and plugged it in to make sure that it is working. It is, but now i have to get fuel for it. I will also pick up the mulch for the banana trees also. Look out winter, here we come!
      Had to edit this post to add this! Just when you think the pond is through, something like this happens! Violicious bloomed today!
      "Pond"ering next spring! What new lilies do I want?
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      Boy was I wrong! I was thinking (pondering) that the tropical lily foliage would have died off in the last week due to the cold temps, especially at night. However, when we went to bring in the pots they were still green! We brought them in anyway, but rather than bring in plants with dead leaves, we brought in plants with green leaves, and several had buds! A couple were even blooming today! So the plants are in the greenhouse ponds, which means they will last a little longer than they would have outside due to warmer air temps and water temps.
      We also caught the platys and paradise fish in the ponds and moved them into heated aquariums. There may be as many as 200 platys including the tiny babies in the ponds. They multiply almost as fast as some pond plants.
      Am I the only one still getting ready for winter?
      Now, back to "pond"ering!
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    19. #319
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      Well, we are all aware that fall is here, and winter will soon follow. I still have lots to do, but am getting things done as quick as I can. Are you winter ready?
      Along with the getting the ponds ready for winter, like most of you, I also have the routine of getting the house and property ready. The leaves on the trees have turned to their yellows and reds and are beautiful, but the winds and the rains are also stripping them from off of the trees, leaving lots of leaves to deal with. We are blessed with the beautiful colors, but also have had lots of rain to help bring the leaves down. Guess I will have to mulch them up one more time because those pretty leaves are not as pretty on the ground, and they will soon turn brown.
      Not thinking much about the pond plants today, as so many other things to tend to around the house right now. Will leave the "pond'ering off for a few minutes. Stay warm, and snuggle up as you dream of spring!
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      Are you ready for a break from politics? Well today was the day to vote and I hope you did vote. But for a few minutes let’s take our minds off of politics and go “pond”ering! Now don’t you feel better already?
      We are almost finishing harvesting the tropical lily tubers. We brought the pots into the gh a few weeks ago to avoid a hard frost and now are harvesting the tubers from the pots as we cut the foliage off of the tubers. We have finished doing this with almost all of the pots, and have put the tubers into cups where we will finish cleaning the before putting them into the baggies with slightly damp sand. They will then be put into the 5 gallon buckets for winter storage.
      As we have emptied the tubs we turned them over to empty the water and start getting ready to store them for the winter also. As we turned the tubs over we found lots of earthworms. We found one that was the largest that I have ever seen. I feed the axolotls earthworms and red worms, but ever when grown none of them could eat this behemoth of a worm, even if I cut it into pieces, unless they were very short pieces.
      Hope you are finished with packing up for the winter and now are dreaming of next spring! While dreaming of ponding, you may also be thinking of the holidays growing near. Be thankful for the enjoyment your pond brings you!
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