Page 83 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
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of bone meal into the bottom of the hole and coat the stem and/or root with bulb dust to prevent fungus and place in hole. Fill in hole and water in well. Irises are planted with the top of the rhizome at ground level.
Bulbs can be arranged in groups or naturalized, which means scattering the bulbous stems and roots randomly on the ground and planting them where they land.
Very little needs to be done to maintain bulbous plants during the growing season. However, the spent blooms should be deadheaded. This is done so that the plants do not waste valuable energy they will need during their dormancy, in order to survive, by going to seed. Tender bulbous plants can be mulched or, in the case of summer bulbous plants, brought indoors and stored for the winter.
After the first light frost, cut off the tops of your summer flowering bulbous plants. The stems or roots should be dug up and laid out in the sun or a warm place indoors for an afternoon to dry out. Store in a cool, dark place, about 5C, in a paper bag or box filled with vermiculite. These bulbous plants can be removed from storage and replanted in the spring. Firm bulbs can be replanted but soft or dry bulbs should not be replanted.
If the flower quality and quantity drops in your bulbous plants, this may be a sign of overcrowding, and they may need dividing. Some may have simply outgrown the place they are in or other plants may be encroaching on their area. Many bulbous plants form clumps of stems. These stems are actually individual plants with their own root systems. Some plants cannot be divided since they grow from one central stalk. Spring blooming plants should be divided in early fall. When all the leaves have fallen, gently dig up the plant and separate the roots of the individual clumps to be removed. Replant the removed plants in an appropriate place in the garden. Summer flowering perennials should be divided in the same way in the spring, as soon as they are showing growth.
Hardy bulbous plants that grow outdoors can be forced to bloom in the winter. Plant the bulbous
stem or root in a well-drained pot. Plant the stem or root so that half is buried in potting soil with the other half exposed, water well. Store the plant in a cool, 5 C, dark place for 8-12 weeks. This will give the plant the dormancy it needs to begin the flowering process out of season. After the dormant period, remove the plants from storage and place in a sunny location. Hyacinths may be grown in water and there are many containers available for this purpose.
Once the season ends and your summer blooms are spent it is time to dig up your bulbs for winter storage. Bulbs that bloom in summer, rather than spring, are usually not as winter hardy and cannot survive the winter outdoors on the Prairies. Summer bulbous plants include Dahlias, Gladioli, Begonias, several lilies and a number of small bulbs.
Summer bulbous plants are often started in pots indoors, in March or April, and planted outdoors after the treat of frost has passed, traditionally June 1. In the fall, they are dug up after the first frost, cleaned and allowed to dry, dusted with Bulb Dust and stored in a cardboard box or paper bag containing vermiculite, sawdust, peat moss, etc. in a cold but frost-free place until the next spring. The inexpensive smaller bulbs can be treated the same way, but are usually replaced each year, as their size makes them difficult to find to dig up, and the replacement cost is minimal.
These bulbous plants can be removed from storage and replanted in the spring. Firm bulbs should be replanted but soft or dry bulbs should be discarded.
gardener’s secrets - tubers, rhizomes, and bulbs Well drained soil is best for planting.
Bone meal should be added when planting for extra nutrients. GroundsKeeper’s Pride produces an excellent bone meal.

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