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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chinese water chestnuts propagation

I received a package from a very decent person here in Florida. It contained 10 corms of the Chinese water chestnut, Eleocharis dulcis. It will grow quite well here in Florida and I am zone 8a/8b depending on the weather. I am rather enjoying all the exotic (to me, anyway) plants, both native and cultivated, here in sunny Florida. My fiance, Annie, is an ardent Florida gardener and has taught me a lot about southern gardening which is completely different from anything I have ever experienced up north or out west. Here there is no "end" to the growing season as far as gardens go. The only problem we have had was a few nights of frost so far. We have radishes, carrots, and beets in the ground and a very healthy stock of tomatoes and peppers in trays getting ready for transplanting. We use only heirloom and non GMO, non hybrid organic seeds. These first photos show how I planted the water chestnuts in a temporary container that I bring in every night. I will transplant them to a kiddie wading pool after the last frost passes. If you are interested in these delicious plants do a search for Chinese water chestnuts and you'll see they are not hard at all to propagate. I would highly encourage anyone with an interest in exotic plants and southern gardening to go to This is a great site and has tons of interesting information. David is an expert on southern gardening.

The corms-some are sprouting already.

Another shot of the corms on our planting table.

The dirt-a mix of sandy loam and a bit of the local pipe clay.

Here's how much dirt I put in the bucket. Its a 2 1/2 gallon bucket.

Here are the corms before covering.

A closeup of the uncovered corms. I will leave the sprouts exposed above the surface of the dirt.

I use this specially modified bucket to water things that need the least disturbance to the soil. Its also very handy for draining wet potting soil.

Here's the bucket and contents before water is added.

We have several containers on the property to collect rain water. In the summer these can fast become mosquito heaven so we keep them covered.

Filling the watering bucket.

Adding the water to the soil with corms.

This shows the soil with about 6 inches of water over the soil.

The complete project-setting in the sun with our seedlings on the starter tray racks.

This and the next two photos are shots of our starter trays with very happy seedlings getting acclimated.

Peppers, cabbage and tomatoes.

The racks-recycled shelving units from a retailer long gone. The white ones are adjustable for shelf distance. This is a southern exposure and gets a good dose of sunshine all day.

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