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Garden Beds and gate
Removing spent flowers from garden bulbs

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Garden Beds and gate
 Page 7
Caring for bulbs after flowering.

Lifting and storing bulbs.

             With the exception of snowdrops spring bulbs can be lifted and stored to allow your garden planters to be re-planted for the summer.

   Nourishing  foliage: Once  your bulbs have finished  flowering, remove the faded blooms to prevent  seeds  from forming, which exhausts  the bulbs. Don't remove any foliage,  as the bulbs need their leaves  to restore  their strength for flowering in the following  year. You can help them by watering  regularly and feeding  with bone meal or organic  fertiliser to provide the necessary  nutrients.
  • While the foliage is still green,  it is a good time to dig up and divide  dense  clumps of small bulbs such as anemones, winter  aconites,  crocus  and snowdrops.
  • Only once the foliage has become yellow and dry should you cut it. Trim close to the ground, and mark out where the bulbs are so that you don't accidentally disturb them when seeding or digging the garden.
Prevent dryness: Water narcissus and wild daffodil bulbs during the autumn if it is very dry. The flower buds are formed during this period and a lack of water will dim the beauty of their springtime show.
Keeping disease at bay: A light sprinkling of flowers of sulphur before the summer rest period will protect your bulbs from disease and mould. You can also use it before planting - put the bulbs in a paper bag with the powder and shake vigorously.  You should be able to buy flowers of sulphur from garden centres and chemists.
Summer hibernation:  If you prefer to remove bulbs once their flowers have faded to avoid the sight of yellowing foliage, lift them carefully with a fork, keeping the soil around the bulb.
  • Dig a trench in a semi shaded little-used corner of your garden and put a plastic net or wire mesh at the bottom, letting it overlap the ends of the trench.
  • Set the bulbs in the trench and cover with soil, leaving the foliage exposed.
  • Water thoroughly during dry spells.  Once the foliage has shrivelled and faded, the bulbs can be lifted for storing.  Simply pull out the net, shake off the soil and remove the dead leaves.
  • Dry the cleaned bulbs in a well-ventilated place for a few days, then place them, uncovered, on a bed of sand in shallow boxes.
  • Store them in a dry, dark and cool room or garage until replanting in autumn.  Never store bulbs that are damp or have dead or damaged skins.
Beware  of rodents:  If you are worried that your stored-away  bulbs will be attacked by rodents, place  the bulbs in old tights  or stockings with some dry sand.  Rats and mice hate synthetic fibre and are unlikely to attempt to nibble through it. Even so, check the bulbs regularly  and remove any that show the slightest signs of rot or damage.
A water-free diet for your tulips: Originally from mountainous regions of the Middle East, tulips like hot, dry summers in well-drained soil. These are difficult conditions to provide in mixed beds, so it is best to lift them as soon as the foliage has yellowed and store them in a warm, dry place all summer before planting out again in the autumn.  To avoid this time-consuming chore, plant them under fruit trees, which dry out the soil in summer.

Spring Bulbs.
Placing garden bulbs on a layer of dry sand
.After the foliage has dried completely, dig up the bulbs and place them on a layer of dry sand in a crate.
Covering garden bulbs with a layer of sand
.Cover the bulbs  with another  layer of sand until only their  tips are showing.
Sprinkling garden bulbs with flower of sulphur
 Space  them out  well  to ensure none  are touching and sprinkle  them evenly  with flowers  of sulphur.
Covering garden bulbs upto their tips
.When the bulbs are covered up to their  tips, store  them in a dark, cool, dry place,  safe from rodents.

Rich, glossy hyacinth bulbs .
Hyacinth garden bulbs
                 Rich, glossy hyacinth bulbs are treated with a chemical which can irritate the skin. Always wear gloves when you handle them.

Mini Index
 Skips pages. Gets you to a general area.
Garden Bulbs.
Lillies& Alliums.
Flowers until Frost.
Annuals For Summer.
Borders Full of Colour.
 Collecting Seeds.
Foliage Plants.
Garden Gate and flower borders
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