Thu, 17 Apr 2003 12:30:52 PDT
In a message dated 4/17/2003 11:21:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Since both Jim Shields and Jim Waddick have said they have no luck growing 
> Babianas in cold climates and you say they do well for you, can you tell us 
> how deep your pots are, how often you replant, and what kind of 
> temperatures they get summer and winter.
They clay pots are standard 8 or 10 inch except for B. nana in a plastic 
nuresey container, maybe 10 inches deep.  Winter temps go down to just above 
freezing and the exhaust fan is set at 72F.  I'd imagine that the 
temperatures in the summer would go above 95F. Summers are spent under the 
plunges, dry, just a spritz on the 15th of every month till mid September. 
They don't bake in the sun  I repot every two or three years.
> I have much better luck with Babianas in the ground or in very deep large 
> containers I only replant when they get really crowded. Also they keep 
> their leaves much longer than most of the other South African irids I have 
> grown and as Rachel points out many of them are tolerant of garden water in 
> the summer. Which species do you grow and do they always bloom?
I'm at the office now but I'll make a list and post it.  The pots always have 
flowers, I can't say if an individual corm blooms every year. 
> If you are eating Babianas and not mice, what made you decide to try them 
> and how do they taste? Diana in the past has told us about her tests eating 
> some of California's bulbs.
Must have been foot in mouth disease or the Australian Shiraz last night.  A 
couple of years ago mice nested in the greenhouse, they ate only the Sparaxis 
and Babiana.  So I tasted the dry Babiana corms, nuttyish flavor, nice 
crunch, not bitter like acorns.  I'd bet they could be ground into a flour.  
Still have my Euell Gibbons books  from way back when so once in a while we 
go foraging for greens, fiddleheads grow down by the river, come summer there 
are blackberries galore.  This area is also one of the best morel hunting 
places in the state.  What has Diana tried?
Mark Mazer
Intarsia Ltd.
Gaylordsville, CT 06755-0142
USDA Zone 5
Giant Schnauzer Rescue

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