A Long Winter Rest For Bulbs

By Thomas Fryd

Many of the shrub roses like rugosas and the Scotch rose are perfectly hardy in the West and require no covering. Hybrid teas, polyanthus, and climbing roses are quite tender and need winter protection. If the roses are planted in beds, place a mound of soil around each plant to a depth of at least six inches and then cover over the bed entirely with straw.

If only individual specimens exist here and there through the yard, place wire fences around each plant, mound with soil as described above, and then pack the fence with straw. For climbing roses, pull the vines down from their support, lay them along the ground and cover them completely with soil.

Digging Bulbs

October is the time for digging and lifting summer blooming tender bulbs. Use a digging fork for lifting gladiolus plants. Loosen the soil with the fork and pull the plant gently. If it is a valuable variety and you are saving the cormels for increase, be extra careful in pulling the plant from the soil. Remove extra soil from the corms, cut the foliage to within an inch or so of the corm, and place the corm in an open tray or box to cure and dry.

If fusarium disease has been a problem with the glads during the summer, store the corms in a warm airy place at a temperature of about 95, degrees for about seven days. Then clean the old corm off the bottom, removing all dried roots. Dust the new corms lightly. Store the corms for another seven days at 95 degrees. After this period place the corms in cool storage at temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees if possible. Never store the corms in closed, airtight containers.

Dig dahlia tubers and lady slipper orchid at the advent of the first light frosts. Remove excess soil from the tuber clumps, washing it off with a hose if necessary, and place the clumps upside down to dry and drain moisture for a few days. As soon as lady slipper orchid and dahlia tubers have dried, place the clumps in cool storage, around 35 to 40 degrees. If the storage place is moist the clumps can be stored in open flats or trays. If the storage is very dry, store the tubers in slightly moistened sand, peat moss or sawdust.

Examine the tubers occasionally to see that they are holding well in storage. The clumps can be divided at any time. In making a dahlia tuber division, be sure each division has an eye or bud on it. This will be found at the base of the old stem, or at the top of the tuberous root. Dig and store cannas in a similar manner. - 29857

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