Time to dig up, dry, and separate flowering bulbs.
“These last few warm days of Fall signal it is time to dig up, dry, and separate flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, gladiolus, elephant ears, and others,” reported Debra Hopkinson, former owner/partner in the DanDe Greenhouse here in Clinton, Tennessee. “Every time we pull back into the driveway and/or go in the house, we are reminded of some gladiolus bulbs at the end of the driveway, some daffodil bulbs on the bank of the railroad track next to our house, and the large green elephant ear plant growing just outside the side door to our house, not to mention some tulip bulbs in the house that we got for a birthday, we think; all of which either need to be dug up, and the bulbs dried and separated, and/or planted or replanted. Flower bulbs reproduce by growing additional bulbs attached to the parent; digging and separating the bulbs is recommended every two or three years to minimize competition for nutrients and moisture, as well as maximize conditions for healthy plants. Spring blooming bulbs should have already been dug and separated for it is about time to plant them for early Spring blossoms. Carefully dig a few inches back from the stems of the flowers pushing the shovel into the ground as perpendicular as possible to avoid cutting the bulbs or the stems below the surface. Bulbs can be set aside for a few hours to days to allow them to dry out. Carefully break apart the bulbs in the cluster. Replant as soon as possible for early Spring blooms. In this manner over time, the size or number of your bulb flower beds can be increased.”
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