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  Page 10
Planting and tending your garden bulbs.

Summer and Autumn Bulbs.

Lily Bulbs. 

         Easy to grow and with over eighty species and thousands of hybrids to chose from ,  lilies are a good subject for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. They adapt well to planters  and are amongst the most graceful of summer flowering plants - some the height of understated elegance, others shamelessly dazzling and exotic.

Solving common problems

Chemical-free pot traps : Earwigs are one of the worst enemies of bulbs, damaging their flowers  and leaves. Instead of spraying them with insecticide, try a simple, chemical-free trap. Cook a jacket potato, carefully  scoop  out most of the contents, leave it to cool and then place  amongst your  plants. The earwigs will climb into the jacket shell  to feast. All you have to do is remove the potato jacket with its occupants  - but do it gently, because  these small pests are quick to escape.
Dealing with virus:
                             Lilies  are prone to virus.  Once  a plant is affected, there is no cure. Look out for symptoms - deformed leaves and twisted  or missing flowers  - and insects like aphids and greenfly  which spread  the virus.  Uproot an infected plant immediately  and destroy it so that it cannot infect the others.
Watch out for soft rot:
                                     If irises show signs of rotting  at the base  of the outside leaves, check  your soil is draining properly. If the soil is too wet, damaged  rootstock can be invaded by bacteria, which attacks rhizomes and leaves, causing  them to rot. You can smell  the decay.  Destroy  the plant immediately then lighten  the soil to improve  drainage for any other  irises.
Beware of scorching:
                                 Iris rhizomes  protrude above  the soil's surface  and, because  they are exposed,  they are prone to damage.  When mulching  or top-dressing with animal manure, avoid  covering them with organic material,  even if it is well decomposed,  as this will cause  scorching.
Beautiful flowers staked:
                                       The weight  of large dahlia blooms  often causes  the stems  to bow down  to the ground  and snap. Three bamboo canes, inserted in the ground  in a triangle around  the clump  and ringed with string  or raffia two-thirds of the way  up, will hold  the foliage  and flower stems  together. Position  stakes before planting to avoid  damaging the tubers.
Disbud your dahlias:
                               To get the biggest  blooms,  remove secondary  flower buds,  leaving just one bud on each stem. If you are worried about  losing your only flower in bad weather, disbud every  other  stem to still enjoy a dazzling  display.
Bank up your gladioli:
                                 If you cannot stake gladioli or plant them in dense  groups,  build up a small mound  of soil at their base to support  them or plant them in a sheltered  area.
Autumn Bulbs.
            The large-flowered hybrids are striking everywhere but are particularly effective in big flower  beds.

Cyclamen Flowers
(Cyclamen  neapolitanum) 
                 These beautiful bulbs are easily naturalised in most settings and will form a magnificent carpet of flowers under the foliage  of trees.

Nerine Flowers
            With  its long lasting pink flowers nerine is an attractive  sight in autumn.  They do well next to a warm  wall.



Over Wintering Dahlias.



   Cut the stems 15cm from the  ground  and dig up the tubers.  Label the plant if you have  more than one clump.


Trim Dahlia Stems again


    Trim all the stems again 10cm  from the tubers,  to complete  all of your preparations.


Cleaning Dahlia Tubers


    Allow the tubers  to dry for several  days, then clean them gently  with a brush,removing most  of the soil.

Covering Dahlia Tuber with sawdust

         In a clean box,  position  the tubers.  Cover  with sawdust  or dry sand  to the base  of the stems.


Flowers of sulphur on Dahlia tubers


  Sprinkle  the tubers with flowers of sulphur  to prevent fungus growing during  storage.

Dahlia Tubers planted

       Ensure all the tubers are labelled and put the box in a cool, dark, well-ventilated, frost and vermin-free  place.


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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