With the approach of cold weather, gardeners should take care of the bulbous plants to which gladioli also belong. The danger for them is not so much low temperature, how many diseases and pests that tubers suffer from, if they are in wet and cold soil for a long time. So that with the arrival of spring you do not have to buy planting material, you need to know when to dig gladiolus, how and where to store them.
When to dig up gladioli for the winter: tips from professional gardeners
The question, when digging bulbs of gladioli, has several answers. There is no fixed date. It all depends on the climatic zone, as well as on such factors:
- planting time and flowering time;
- varieties - in early varieties of bulbs ripen earlier than in later ones;
On the leaves of gladioli can not establish the readiness of the bulb. A relative external sign that you can navigate when digging gladioli in the fall is the appearance of dark spots on the leaves or the beginning of their drying. This may indicate that the fungus attacked the flowers. If you quickly dig an onion and process it, there will still be a chance to save it.
In the garden can grow different gladioli. When digging bulbs - at the same time or every in its time? The bulbs are usually dug 1-1.5 months after the start of flowering, i.e. from mid September to early October. The first to remove the early and middle varieties of flowers (dark and lavender-blue): they are most susceptible to fungal infections.
Medium-early (the most common in our area) include the varieties "Annushka", "Blue Butterfly", "Spartak", "Temple of the Sun", "Travushka-ant", "Eternal Call", "Snow Maiden" and others. Mediums are infrequent ("Exciting joy"). Late varieties are rarely seen in our gardens. Growing them does not make sense, since they simply do not have time to bloom until the cold weather.
It is best to determine the period when digging gladiolus on the temperature column. If a few nights the temperature stays on from 0 to -3˚, you can proceed.
Can gladiolus overwinter in soil?
Not all gardeners are sure that gladioli should be dug out for the winter. Doubts about the need for such work are related to the fact that many had to see how some plants survived the winter safely, and nothing happened to them. Bulbs, accidentally forgotten in the ground, germinated normally in the spring.
This, of course, is possible, but not all varieties of gladioli are able to resist frost. Most of them (especially for high-quality plants) will surely die. Digging corms is necessary and for preventive purposes. They are very sensitive to harmful fungi, and if they remain in the ground, they will be defenseless against diseases and pests.
How to dig gladiolus: inventory and some useful recommendations
To begin work on the digging of the bulbs should be on a clear, warm, sunny day. From the tools you will need a shovel or forks.
- The shovel should be deeply stuck in the ground, but not tilted so as not to cut the bulbs. Each bush gently dig in and take the plant out of the ground.
- It is better to cook a piece of oilcloth, spread it on the ground and turn over the excavated soil on it. This will notice the kids. The bush is cut off with a sharp pruner, leaving the above-ground part no more than 1-2 cm.
- The roots are pruned.
- The bulbs are washed and treated in a strong solution of potassium permanganate (it is prepared at the rate of 2-5 g per 10 l of water). Keep them there must be at least 30 minutes.
- The bulbs are placed for 1-2 weeks in a dry, well-ventilated place to dry at a temperature of 23 to 28 degrees. Since this is an important process on which the health of plants and their germination depend, it is necessary to turn the bulbs twice a day to dry them evenly. If diseased or damaged tubers are found, they should be burned immediately.
How to save the bulbs to the next planting?
For the storage of bulbs, 2 places are most suitable - the basement and the lower shelf of the refrigerator, since here the optimum temperature is from plus 3˚ to 8˚. They can be folded in a paper bag, wrapped in a newspaper. At the same time it is necessary to make several holes in the paper so that air can penetrate there. It is not necessary to put the tubers in a bag of polyethylene: due to the high humidity, mold will appear on them.
Experienced gardeners put several cloves of peeled garlic together with onions. This can scare off pests, but to protect against infection of the bulbs should be poured powder insecticide.
If the bulbs are stored at home, they should not be wrapped or laid in rows. It is better if they do not come into contact with one another. If the corms hibernate at room temperature (up to + 18), they will lose volume. Before planting such planting material, it should be soaked in a growth promoter.
Gardeners have another secret. When storing the bulbs, it is better to fill the space between them with mint leaves - they will inhibit germination.
At least 1 time per month bulbs must be checked. If infected tubers are found, they are thrown away. If the paper in which they are stored has become wet, then it is changed to dry.
For storage of valuable varieties, growers recommend using a time-consuming, but reliable method - waxing. In a bowl in a water bath, melt paraffin, then dip all the bulbs in it (with each of them pre-removing the covering scales). When it comes time to plant gladiolus, paraffin is not removed.
Gladioluses are garden plants that require competent care, including preparation for the winter and storage. These activities require effort, but pay off with luxurious blooms. If you know when to dig out gladiolus bulbs and provide them with comfortable conditions, then in the spring you will not have to spend money to buy new planting material. And magnificent inflorescences will become the best decoration of a flower bed.