Monday, February 4

Storing the Glads

A little late in coming but I finally got the gladioli bulbs sorted, cleaned and stored away last weekend. Little man and I dug them on an unusually warm day last December, after we had already had a few hard frosts.

I have only had glads for a few years, even though they are such a beautiful addition to the flower garden, because I was put off by the work in digging them up every year. I am a big fan of the perennial garden - the more that will come back on it's own, the better. I have enough work to do in the veggie garden without having to worry about some strange looking bulbs.

However, much like the lady in the video, I finally got a package of the bulbs at the end of season clearance sale at Tractor Supply. They were cheap and I thought "what the heck." If they grow, they grow. If I forget to dig them up, then I am only out $1.59.

I planted them and forgot about them, and they grew and bloomed nicely the first season. And I forgot to dig up the bulbs and they spent the winter in the ground.

The next season I was not expecting them to grow, thinking they were all rotten and destroyed under the ground and fully prepared to start a patch of poppies over their garden spot, when they grew! And I got another beautiful display of red flowers that the hummingbirds love.

This year, I didn't want to press my luck, so we dig them up. Of course, not really knowing what I was doing, I went to the modern homesteaders mecca - the internet. A very nice lady on You Tube taught me how to dig, dry, sort, clean and store the bulbs.

I dried them on a large old metal screen from an old window in the basement from the time we dug them up in December until last weekend. Probably more than enough time for them to dry, and not because I was worried about the proper drying time. I just never got the time to get down there to sort and clean them.

I made sure each bulb was in good condition and free of dried dirt and leftover roots. I saved each big bulb and medium sized bulb, or corms, and then I went to work on the little guys, the cormlets. I saved all the ones I thought would be good to plant next spring and I tossed any that looked too small. I had a ton of the cormlets so there was not going to be a shortage.

I stored the bulbs in two mesh bags from the produce department that once contained grapefruit and tomatoes on the vine. The bulbs need to breathe, but they can also not be exposed to light or heat. So they are now spending the winter in the windowless closet of our un-insulated side entry way.

If I did things right, I will have enough bulbs to plant two separate glad area this spring.

But wait, won't that make for more digging in the fall? Ah, now I know why people sometimes avoid glads...... it's a vicious, multiplying cycle......

No comments:

Post a Comment