Came home determined to grow buckets of the little ornamental babies. I ordered seed online, started them on propagation mats under lights on May 18th and planted the seedlings in the raised bed on June 1st.
All summer long I tied them up on their two trellises - first the tiny tendrils then thick fuzzy stems and by August they were snakes creeping along trellis tops and spilling into the forsythia hedge behind them. White blossoms appeared by the second week of the month and I began pinching out the growing tips daily only to have new snakes emerge and thrive. By the end of the month I gave up and let them have their way. The forsythia, weighted down by the vines, didn't need a second pruning as in past years. Worked for me.
I harvested 15 bulbous beauties last weekend ranging in size from 2" to 5". To help with the curing process I've been faithfully wiping them down every day with rubbing alcohol to keep their outside skin clean. I found the passive air vent in the living room makes a great drying rack but the location is conveniently situated within reach of the cats. Lost the tiniest 2 incher mid-week to their fun and games. What a racket they made with it on the hardwood floors. The house sounded like a bowling alley and they reduced the little thing to a pulp.