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Gladioli Are beautiful flowers from the Iris family. They can often be found in summer cottages, as they well complement any garden and vegetable garden.
In order for the flowers to continue to delight the owner of the site next year, it is necessary to dig out their bulbs in time.
When should you start digging gladioli?
Usually, bulbs are dug up in the second half of September and continues right up to the first frost.
It is important not to forget that for the full ripening of the bulb, it is necessary to wait from 35 to 45 days after the end of flowering.
Unfortunately, in the northern regions, where the planting of flowers occurs relatively late, the bulbs may not have time to ripen.
On the territory of "non-black earth" Russia, the main part of gladioli blooms in the second half of August, so digging is necessary from September 15th. At the same time, you should not pay attention to a slight underripening of the bulb, since it will not in any way affect the safety of the root crop itself and its germination.
Also read the features of growing dahlias.
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Harvesting gladioli is carried out in dry weather, so that too wet soil does not stick to the bulbs. It is much more convenient when she herself falls from them, without causing unnecessary inconvenience to the summer resident.
In addition, it is much easier to get all the babies out of dry soil than from hardened or wet ones.
If the children come off and remain in the ground, this can lead to the fact that in the spring all varieties of gladioli will mix, and the site will become clogged.
The procedure for harvesting bulbs
First of all, you need to remove the early and middle varieties of flowers, and then you can move on to later ones. It is also important to consider one more feature.
Dark varieties (red, purple, cherry), as well as blue ones, should be the first to be dug out among equal harvesting times.
During cold weather, these varieties quickly lose their resistance to the action of various fungi, so the bulbs may die without waiting for harvest.
If the dug out bulbs are heavily contaminated with soil, then they can be washed in clean running water. After that, they are thoroughly dried.
Some gardeners prefer to additionally dress the planting material with insecticides and fungicides. Indeed, these preparations provide effective protection for the bulbs, but should not be used on healthy tubers.
For prevention, it is better to use a solution of boric acid or ordinary potassium permanganate. The bulbs are placed in such solutions for half an hour, and then removed and dried.
It is important to cut off the stem of dug gladioli, leaving a stump of 1.5 cm in size.In the event that the green part of the plant has been affected by insects or fungus, it is stored in a separate container and burned.
This will prevent the spread of the disease to healthy bulbs and plants.
Preparing for storing the bulbs
Before storage, the gladiolus bulbs are thoroughly dried. This process can take about two months.
So that the varieties do not get confused once again, they are laid out in separate trays in one layer. They should be stored in a well-ventilated room, where the temperature will be 25-30 º С during the first month and 20º С - during the second.
During drying, the grower should periodically turn the bulbs over and inspect them for fungal diseases. Diseased tubers are always destroyed.
However, if the gladiolus variety is too valuable, then you can cut out the damaged parts of the bulb. Then it is additionally treated with a solution of potassium permanganate and sent back to storage.
Sometimes garlic cloves are placed next to the bulbs for added protection from insects. It scares away all possible parasites well, but, unfortunately, cannot protect gladioli from infectious diseases.
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Some summer residents prefer to additionally process the bulbs of gladioli. To do this, they clean them from the integumentary scales, and then send them for storage.
On the one hand, this method helps to protect the root crop from thrips and rot.
On the other hand, however, the scales play the role of an important protective layer that prevents the bulb from drying out during the winter.
Another method used for additional processing of bulbs is pouring molten paraffin... It tightly envelops the root crop, protecting it from drying out and the appearance of mold.
To melt the paraffin, it is necessary to warm it up in a water bath, and then the bulbs are immersed in it. They need to be kept for a few seconds, and then they can be removed and sent for storage. It is important to remember that paraffin is not removed before planting.
Before the final laying of corms, it is important to examine them again, removing the thinnest scales. After that, the bulbs are laid out in bags, where the variety and the time of digging are indicated. Usually, fabric bags are used for these purposes, since they are good for air permeability.
How to store bulbs?
Dry cellars are considered the best place to store root crops. However, not every florist can boast of such a basement.
For this reason, the bulbs can be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where vegetables are usually stored.
To do this, they are pre-folded in paper bags with several openings for air intake.
If there are no such bags, then ordinary newspapers, packed in plastic bags with holes, can be used. Some summer residents store bulbs in nylon tights.
Gladioli are examined periodically. If sick or rotten roots are found, then they are thrown away so that they do not infect healthy bulbs.
You also need to take into account the fact that at the end of the period of natural dormancy, gladioli begin to germinate. To prevent this from happening, root vegetables need to be stored in a warm and dry place for a week.
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Gladioli are dug up in late September-early October, when the first frosts begin. It is very important to have time to dig up all the bulbs before the onset of winter, as they will not be able to survive even a 10-degree frost.
Immediately after digging, the bulbs are stored in dry and warm rooms, where they will wait for the onset of spring. They can be additionally protected from pests and fungi with potassium permanganate or boric acid solution.