According to a beautiful legend, gladioli grew out of the swords of two best friends who refused to fight against each other in gladiatorial battles. The sharp and long leaves of these flowers really look like blades, which is probably why gladioli are also called a skewer.
Many gardeners are afraid to associate with these flowers, considering that they are difficult to grow.
But, as practice shows, you do not need to know any special tricks to get beautiful flowers on your site. The most important thing is to properly prepare the corms for spring planting.
What is the processing of gladiolus bulbs, how to properly store planting material, and what rules should be followed during planting - this is the article about this.
The choice of planting material
It doesn't matter where the gardener gets his first gladiolus bulbs from: he takes them as gifts from neighbors in the country or buys them for a lot of money in a specialized store. In any case, the owner must be able to distinguish quality planting material from bulbs that are unsuitable for planting in spring.
So, in the choice of corms, you need to be guided by the following factors:
- Young gladiolus bulbs, which have already bloomed no more than once, are considered more suitable for purchase. In this case, the bulb will be high, and not flattened, it will have a small bottom and one or two buds - the makings of peduncles.
- Taking corms as a gift, you can choose those that have not bloomed at all. But these should be healthy and large enough bulbs, with a small bottom. You can find out such planting material by the absence of last year's peduncle. But onions must have the makings of at least one bud.
- The so-called girl bulbs, obtained as a result of too thick planting of gladioli (for example, when flowers are grown for cut), are completely unsuitable for reproduction. Such corms are improperly formed due to a lack of necessary elements, they will not give peduncles.
- You should never give money for old gladioli corms that have bloomed more than four times. They are easy to recognize by their flattened shape, besides, the bottom of such a bulb will be very large. You can try to propagate old corms by dividing them by the number of buds into several parts.
- With proper preparation, you can also get a good peduncle from children. But buying such planting material is not worth it - there is a high risk of paying for greens, not flowers.
- The bulbs for planting must be healthy first. Their surface is shiny, without dark spots and rot. The onion must be firm, not dry or softened. In the upper part of a healthy tuber, buds are visible, and tubercles-rudiments of the root system should be visible from below.
Advice! Just starting the cultivation of gladioli, you should not purchase the bulbs of expensive elite varieties.
As a rule, such flowers are more susceptible to disease, require more complex processing and care. It is better to start with the most common varieties of gladioli - they are the easiest to grow.
How to store corms in winter
The processing of gladioli bulbs is, of course, very important, but no less important is to be able to correctly collect and store planting material in the autumn-winter period. After all, it depends on this how many bulbs will sprout and turn into beautiful flowers.
Collecting bulbs is necessary when:
- freezing temperatures outside;
- the land between the flowers is dry;
- the stem and leaves of gladioli are dry;
- there are no strong frosts yet.
If all conditions are met, then the bulbs will be fully ripe, dry and ready for long-term storage.
Unfortunately, not in all regions of Russia, the climate allows you to keep corms in the ground as much as they need for their final formation. After all, early frosts, strong and prolonged rains are not uncommon here - all this has a bad effect on the quality of planting material and significantly increases the risk of infection of the bulbs with fungal diseases.
Important! In order for the bulbs to form, residents of the central part of the country and the northern regions are advised to grow varieties of early flowering gladioli or cover the flowers with agrofibre or film when it rains and the temperature drops too low.
In order for the bulb to complete its formation faster, it is recommended to cut off the stem of the gladiolus a week before digging it out - only 10-15 cm of the peduncle are left.
In dry and warm weather, they begin to dig up the bulbs. Before that, gladioli stop watering for about 10-14 days. The earth around the flowers is carefully dug in and slowly pulled by the stem or its trim - the bulb should easily come out of the ground. If the roots hold it, it means that the corm is not yet ripe enough, it is better to give it a few extra days.
Dug out bulbs must be cleaned of the ground, remove old dry roots by cutting them off with pruning shears or scissors (leave about a centimeter of rhizomes). Peduncles are also cut, leaving only a couple of centimeters. If the stem is easily separated from the gladiolus tuber, you can remove it altogether.
The bulbs must be sorted and marked so that you know where certain varieties and shades of gladioli are stored. This will help in the next season to properly arrange a flower garden or flower bed.
Now the bulbs are dried for several days in a dark and dry place. If there are rotten or infected corms, they must be removed and, best of all, burned so that the infection does not enter the ground.
It is necessary to store gladiolus bulbs in a cool and dark place with constant temperature and humidity. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity conditions can cause gladioli to "wake up" too early, so you can lose all flowers.
The best place to store planting material is in the basement. Here gladioli are kept in boxes filled with sand, peat or sawdust. The bulbs are sprinkled with layers of porous materials, slightly moisten the sand or sawdust.
Advice! In order for moisture not to evaporate too quickly from boxes with gladioli, it is recommended to cover their walls and bottom with old newspapers. Otherwise, the bulbs may dry out and disappear.
In this form, gladioli are stored until next spring.
How to process gladiolus bulbs in spring
The bulbs are taken from the basements two weeks before planting in the ground, so this date may differ significantly in different regions. For example, in southern Russia, gladioli are planted in flower beds, usually in mid-April. This means that it is necessary to get the bulbs out of the shelter already at the end of March.
But in the northern part of the country, the land warms up only by the end of May, sometimes gladioli have to be planted here even in early June. Therefore, you need to get boxes with tubers from basements not earlier than the first decade of May.
Important! If gladioli are planted in June, they will definitely not have time to form good corms for the next season - after all, autumn frosts in this part of the country also begin very early. To give the flowers time, they are covered with foil, sometimes mini-greenhouses are created over the bushes.
In general, you need to be guided by the following rule - gladioli bulbs can be planted in the soil when the ground at a depth of 10 cm warms up to 10 degrees and above. Remembering past seasons and climatic features of several previous years, you can calculate the approximate date of planting flowers. 10-14 days before the expected planting, the bulbs begin to cook for this.
So, before you process the bulbs, peel them off. This is necessary in order to recognize diseased specimens, see the buds and rudiments of roots, divide the corms into several parts.
After examining the planting material, it is necessary to reject those bulbs that are affected by rot, mold or fungus - they can no longer be saved. But you can help those gladioli that are struck by scab or dry rot. In this case, the brown spots must be cut off with a sharp disinfected knife, and the cut must be smeared with brilliant green or sprinkled with wood ash. After a couple of days, the wound will heal, and the gladiolus can be planted in the ground.
They also do with the bulbs of gladioli that want to renew or propagate - they are cut with a knife, focusing on the number of buds that have hatched. After cutting, at least one "live" bud should remain on each part of the tuber. This stage is especially important for expensive bulbs of elite gladioli, because so rare flowers can be propagated faster and more efficiently than with the help of "children".
Sections must be dipped in wood ash or thickly treated with brilliant green. Now they are allowed to weather for 1-2 days.
To disinfect gladioli and stimulate them earlier and profuse flowering, gardeners use many methods and tricks. The most popular methods for processing bulbs are as follows:
- Soaking the bulbs in a manganese solution. To do this, prepare a strong solution of potassium permanganate and place the tubers there for 25-30 minutes. After the procedure, gladioli are washed with running water and dried thoroughly. All this is necessary for disinfecting gladioli, protecting the bulbs from fungal and other infectious diseases.
- The use of growth and flowering stimulants for indoor or garden flowers. It can be "Epin", "Kornevin" or other similar drugs. They also force the roots of flowers to form faster, which facilitates the adaptation of gladioli in flower beds.
- Some gardeners recommend scalding the planting material with boiling water. This is done for a short time, in the form of an application, after which the bulbs are washed with cold water. This method is effective both for stimulating flowers and for disinfecting them. But it is better not to use the method with boiling water for beginners of gardening - you can seriously injure the already hatched shoots and roots.
- A complex solution of trace elements is less safe than boiling water, but no less effective. To prepare the mixture, take manganese, boric acid, ammonium molybdide, zinc, magnesium sulfate and copper sulfate, dissolve all the components in water and soak the bulbs in this solution for 10-12 hours. This will speed up the flowering of gladioli, increase the size of the flowers, increase the immunity of plants and make them stronger. But not every owner has at hand all the drugs from this list.
You can process gladiolus bulbs in any way - many gardeners skip this stage altogether, immediately starting to germinate tubers.
How to germinate gladioli
Prepared bulbs must be placed in wooden or plastic containers. They are laid out in one or two layers, so that the buds are directed upwards, and the bulb lies on the bottom.
If there are two layers, it is necessary to make sure that all the buds are in sight - the bulbs of the top row are stacked in a checkerboard pattern.
Containers with gladioli are placed in a warm place, with a temperature of 25-28 degrees. They should also have enough sunlight, so the best place for germination is a windowsill or a table by the window.
If the owner notices that the gladioli bulbs are becoming lethargic and faded, they need to be watered a little - spray from a spray bottle or pour water into a container with bulbs. But gladioli are watered only as a last resort, this can lead to too rapid formation of the root system, and this is undesirable. This is because the roots of gladioli are too fragile, when transplanted, they will certainly break off, which will complicate the adaptation of flowers.
After a few days, the buds on the bulbs of gladioli should hatch - small green tubercles will appear from them. These are future flower stalks. After 7-10 days, the sprouts should reach 1-3 cm in height, and swollen root tubercles should be visible in the lower part of the bulb.
In this state, gladioli are ready for planting in the ground. Immediately before planting, it is recommended to treat the bulbs with fungicidal solutions, such as "Maxim" or "Fundazim". Preparations are prepared in accordance with the instructions, gladioli are soaked in them for about two hours.
Recommendations for planting gladioli
It remains only to plant the gladioli bulbs and wait for the flowers to appear. To do everything right, you should adhere to some recommendations:
- You cannot grow gladioli in one place for two seasons in a row - at least three years must pass between plantings on the same site. This is due to the predisposition of flowers to fungal diseases and the ability of the spores of these pathogens to be stored for a long time in the soil.
- Tall flowers do not like strong winds and drafts - this can twist or break their stems. Therefore, gladioli are planted on the leeward side of the site.
- Flowers love the sun, the best place for them will be a well-lit part of the garden.
- Lowlands and wetlands are outright deaths for gladioli. They are grown in elevated areas that are well ventilated. If the water stagnates or the groundwater is high on the site, gladioli are planted on mounds.
- The soil for these flowers should be slightly acidic. In acidic they do not develop normally, but in alkaline they die.
- To make it easier to dig up the bulbs in the fall, a little sand is poured into the hole when they are planted. This will loosen the soil.
- The distance between the bushes should be at least 20 cm.
- The depth of burial of gladioli bulbs depends on their size, it is equal to two diameters of the bulbs.
- When planting, the bulb is lightly pressed to the bottom of the hole, and covered with loose soil, without pressing it down.
Important! Some gardeners grow gladioli in sawdust, or put wood ash in the holes. All these methods have the right to life, because they are aimed at loosening the soil and disinfecting it.
The preparation and planting of the bulbs are now complete. After the height of the shoots reaches 8-10 cm, you can mulch the ground around the gladioli with foliage or sawdust. This will prevent the bulbs from overheating and keep the flowers from slugs and weeds.
So, there is nothing difficult in growing gladioli, just like all decorative flowers, they require a little gardener's attention and a drop of his love.