Prepare the wintering of summer bulbs

Prepare the wintering of summer bulbs

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Just like us who seek the comfort and warmth of our homes once the bad season arrives, some plants aspire to take their winter quarters under warmer skies! This is particularly the case for bulbous plants such as dahlias, begonias and gladioli whose fragile tubers fear frost. To ensure that you benefit once again from the splendid flowering of these perennials the following summer, it is advisable to remove them from the ground during the period when the risk of frost is to be feared. Depending on the region and the year, this period extends from October to May. In countries with mild weather or if the winter is mild, the tubers can however bear being kept in the ground. In this case, however, provide minimal protection by covering them with a protective mulch made, for example, of fallen leaves. Difficulty : easy Cost : nothingness Tools required: - a fork - a pruner - a crate - newspaper - a label

Step 1 - Find the right time

The tubers must be put to winter before the arrival of the first frosts. Afterwards, the damage can already be done, and above all, the ground being hard it will be very difficult for you to get them out of the ground! In addition to the weather, you can trust the condition of the plant, whose foliage will be wilted and the stems softened.

Step 2 - Release the foot

Using a fork, remove the foot from the ground. To do this, plant the fork about fifteen centimeters away so as not to risk damaging the tubers. Do not hesitate to go around the plant with your fork so that it comes without having to force and without risking to tear off the tubers.

Step 3 - Take out the soil bulbs

Once the foot is well bare, gently pull at the root of the foliage to remove the tubers from the ground.

Step 4 - Remove the earth

Remove the soil surrounding the tubers to promote their drying and good conservation. The ideal is to remove them from the earth when the earth is dry, it can be removed much more easily!

Step 5 - Remove the sick parts

In order to have healthy feet to replant in summer, take care of the sanitary condition of the tubers that you put in winter. Remove the sick parts as well as the parts damaged by rodents or the teeth of your fork.

Step 6 - Cut the stems

Cut the stems 10 cm from the base. You will place the dead stems on the compost heap. Nothing is lost, everything is transformed !

Step 7 - Let the bulbs dry

As in the case of other root plants (potatoes, shallots, etc.) humidity regulation is important to allow good conservation. Before storage, leave the tubers in the sun for a day to remove any excess moisture.

Step 8 - Prepare the storage boxes

The tubers will be stored in a dry and temperate place, ideally in a cellar. Prepare crates that you will cover with newspaper.

Step 9 - Prepare labels

Imagine yourself in late spring, when planting. What could be more like a tuber than another tuber? To find your way around in your different varieties, take care to label each one, noting at the same time the name of the plant, its color and its height. Only in this way can you create your beds knowingly. Wedge the label between the rods. It only remains to wait for the moment when the last frosts will no longer be feared - around April or May - to put them back!