Vegetative Collection


Some plant types are stored as bulbs or tubers rather than as seed. Each of the four vegetative plant types we maintain requires its own method of storage and regeneration.

Garlic is regenerated from cloves, or segments of the garlic bulb, that are harvested in late summer. Cloves are replanted each fall and overwinter in the soil, sprouting and forming new bulbs the following spring. Click here for tips on growing garlic.

Many onions in the Collection are seed-producing biennials. These plants are dug in late summer or early fall, cured, stored as bulbs in the root cellar, and re-planted in the spring to go to seed. Other onion varieties will not produce true seed, and are overwintered in the ground with a thick cover of straw. Plants are divided each year and moved to a new location to prevent the build-up of disease inoculum in a perennial patch. Distribution of these varieties is by top-set in the summer or by bulb in the fall.

Jerusalem artichoke, also referred to as sunchoke, is a tuber-forming perennial. Flowers are removed in late summer to prevent seed production, thus avoiding potential for cross-pollination.

Horseradish does not produce seed in Iowa and is propagated from root cuttings. Root cuttings are planted in the spring or fall and are ready to eat in twelve to eighteen months. Our horseradish collection remains in the field from year to year without being dug unless a cutting is needed.

More Plant Collections