According to an ancient legend, amazing garden flowers were named after two brave gladiator friends who, instead of fighting each other, thrust their swords into the ground. And graceful flowers grew out of them. But a legend is a legend, and there are no trifles in growing magnificent flowers. And the preservation of varietal traits of plants largely depends on how correctly to dig and preserve their bulbs in autumn and winter.
When to start preparing gladioli for winter
Preparing flowers for winter begins in the summer, at the height of their flowering. For better ripening of the bulbs, the stems are cut before the seeds ripen. When cutting flowers for bouquets, it is better to leave as many leaves as possible. After this, a maximum of one and a half months is required for the readiness of the bulbs. And do not dig them out, waiting for the leaves to turn yellow, it is dangerous. The delay with their digging up often leads to infection of the planting material, which affects its safety during wintering.
A healthy plant is characterized by maintaining the color of the leaves a month after flowering (this does not apply only to early varieties of flowers). If at the end of summer the leaves are already yellowed, then they should be dug up and destroyed.
The early varieties are harvested first, and the later ones are the very last. The shoots obtained from the germination of children are dug up just before the frost. But all these manipulations are completed before a strong cooling. And since in different regions it occurs at different times, only the temperature can be a guideline for the right time. So, if at night it stably falls to a mark below zero, then on a dry sunny day at positive temperature, the planting material is prepared for wintering. In areas with mild winters, this occurs in mid-autumn, and in the middle lane a couple of weeks earlier.
Features of care for gladioli in the fall
In autumn, most varieties of gladioli do not need serious care. All activities are reduced to preparing them for wintering and digging up bulbs for folding them for the winter. There are only a few types of winter-hardy plants that can winter on the site without digging. First, a few words about them.
In the middle lane, the most unpretentious is the tile-bound fennel. He is the only winter in the garden without insulation. Skewers of Constantinople, sowing and ordinary need autumn shelter for the winter. You can distinguish such varieties from others that need to be dug for the winter by short peduncle, thin stems and leaves that are not cut for the winter. They are covered with a layer of peat and dry leaves, and then another roofing material. In snowy winter, they withstand wintering under double shelter.
How to dig and store gladioli
Fall watering mode
In early autumn, if the weather is warm and sunny, only late-flowering varieties of gladioli continue to be watered. Per square meter, one and a half to two buckets of water of pre-warmed and standing water, which impregnates the soil to a depth of up to a quarter meter, are required.
Watering is combined with loosening the top layer of the earth, weeding and hilling of flowers. In any case, it stops in the second half of September, when the plants are preparing for wintering.
What fertilizers to apply for autumn top dressing of gladioli
Plants themselves are fed only once in the fall - at the very beginning of September. This is top dressing, and their disinfection at the same time. For this purpose, potassium permanganate is used - 5 grams of powder per bucket of water per square meter of flower garden.
In autumn, the site is also being prepared for the spring planting of flower beds. Having cleaned it of weed grass and dug it to a depth of two bayonets, it is “deoxidized” with lime or dolomite flour, or several buckets of peat and sand are added. Instead of sand, humus is introduced into the sandy soil. Fresh manure, which is the cause of fungal diseases, is not used for these purposes.
In autumn, it is also useful to “feed” the soil with phosphorus and potash fertilizers. For a square meter of a flower garden, it is necessary to add a quarter cup of double or half a glass of ordinary superphosphate and half as much potassium chloride or potassium salt.
Appointment and rules for pruning gladioli in the fall
The stalks of gladioli in the autumn are cut almost completely, leaving only a small part, not more than a centimeter, at the base. This is a necessary precaution, as the most dangerous enemy of flowers thrips with cooling moves closer to the ground.
With such a short cut, the risk of infection of bulbs intended for winter storage is reduced. In addition, it reduces the drying time of the bulbous material.
Features of digging bulbs of gladioli in the fall
Digging of fennel bulbs starts closer to the end of September. Only warm and sunny weather is suitable for her. When digging in wet weather, there is a risk of not noticing a large number of small bulbs. After a successful wintering, they may interfere with the purity of the hybrid gladiolus variety.
To dig bulbs use a shovel or pitchfork with wide and flat teeth. This is due to the fact that over the summer a lot of young children are formed around the mother's bulb. To capture them all, you need to retreat from the stem in a circle at least a dozen centimeters. It is best to pull dug out onions by the leaves.
The collected planting material is cleaned from the soil, separating young onions. Damaged and infected specimens are sorted from healthy ones and burned. Leaves after collecting bulbs also destroy.
Mandatory sorting of bulbs by size and variety. Healthy specimens with an age of not more than 4 years, rounded, in which the height and width are approximately the same, are subject to storage. Flat bulbs should be sorted and replaced by grown children. Of these, leave the largest specimens that bloom before small ones.
Care for gladioli after flowering
Preparation and storage of gladiolus bulbs in winter
The bulbs selected for spring planting are washed with warm water and soap, and disinfected using Maxim, Intavir, and Khom preparations. Instead, hold them for an hour in a pink solution of manganese. It is also necessary for their additional rejection, because full-fledged specimens drown in the liquid, but low-quality ones remain on the surface.
Then the bulbs are dried for several days at a temperature of thirty degrees and a month at a temperature ten degrees lower. You can put them in gauze or nylon bags. At room temperature, drying continues for at least two months.
The dried onion material is stacked in a single layer in cardboard boxes so that adjacent bulbs do not touch. For better storage, garlic cloves are placed in boxes or sprinkled with ash, or powdered dry mint. They are put in a cool place and periodically checked for their safety.
The best storage method is waxing, when the bulbs are dipped in soft paraffin for a couple of seconds and then cooled in water. In this form, they do not dry out and are not susceptible to disease.
Suitable conditions for storing flower bulbs and their children are 80% humidity and a maximum temperature of six degrees. They can also be kept in such places:
- In the basement with constant ventilation, the bags are hung far from fruits and vegetables, which during wintering release moisture, leading the bulbs to mold and early awakening.
- In the fridge each piece wrapped in paper is placed in a box with ventilation holes or in a paper bag. A couple of times a month, you need to check them for humidity. Wet paper is replaced with dry paper, airing the kids before that. Thrice-struck valuable varietal specimens are disinfected for half an hour in Intavira solution (1 tablet per bucket of water) and, after drying for a couple of days, they are placed in other boxes.
- In the trench. This storage method is possible only in mild climates, in the absence of groundwater close to the surface. The bookmark in the trenches is carried out before the onset of cold weather. The ditch should be 80 to 70 cm in size. The folded bulbs in the boxes are covered with dry sawdust, and they are still covered with dry leaves and covered with a film. This protects the bulbous material from rain and melting snow.
- On a glazed loggia. In this case, it is necessary to place the planting material in a special container where there is a thermometer. It is better to put it on a stand or boards, and on top, if necessary, insulate with a blanket.
When to dig out gladioli for the winter
Gladiolus need constant care, but in autumn it is specific. Already in the midst of summer, the preparation of plants for wintering begins. After flowering, the skewers hardly water and fertilize, and before cooling, dig the bulbs and children. The quality of their preparation for storage and the creation of appropriate conditions for their wintering depends on the preservation of varietal purity of magnificent garden flowers - flower garden decorations.