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Friday, March 20, 2009

Wake up you sleepy heads!

Decided it was Spring, so pulled all my dormant corms, tubers and rhizomes out of the crawl space and potted them up to sprout in the basement. (My crawl space, while unheated, is totally enclosed with no outside access. The only access is from the basement utility rooms so the temps in there don't go below 50 in winter and not much above 64 in summer.)

I always save any dahlia tubers, canna rhizomes and elephant ear corms that I have each year. I dig them out of their pots in Fall, let them dry a bit then just put them into uncovered baskets and let them sleep for (checking watch) 3-4 months. Well it's Spring and time for them wake up and smell the Equinox! Potted up, they'll do well in the 'warmer' part of the basement. I usually start them this way. Last year I thought it might be easier to start them outside in pots at the beginning of May when it was warm enough not to freeze them. But the sprouting was slow and the blooms were delayed. So I'm going back to what works - a basement wakeup call.

Still to do are 2 boxes of geranium roots that are dormant (maybe 20 plants). Yes, I use the same casual approach to storing them - I pull them up, keeping a smallish amount of soil around the roots, cut off most of the foliage and then plop them into boxes and store in the crawl space. Once, maybe twice over the winter, I'll pull them out, let the roots soak in water for 5-10 minutes, drip off the excess, then plop them back into their box. I lose maybe 20% this way, but this method entails little work. I'm all for "little work". LOL

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  1. One problem with our plants in tropical climate is that they never go dormant, except for a few. In fact, I have only one plant that goes dormant - the scadoxus.
    And this morning, I found it has waken up with a sprout showing after I peeled off the dead stem! Hurray, I'm going to have another scadoxus bloom soon!

  2. Wow. I'm not growing cannas these days. I had lots in my condo bed and they multiplied way too fast for my tastes. It was a different garden than what I'm trying to do now. I do have elephant ears in the north bed with the hosta. If you want little work, move south. We don't have to dig and store these bulbs. ;)

    More zone envy, right? LOL

  3. Is that sob as in *whimper* or sob as in my mother is a .... you know? LOL. More coffee. That's what I need.

  4. ROFL -- hmmm, a Freudian slip? LOL


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