Check Your Bulbs

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Give your stored bulbs, like this dahlia, a monthly once-over.

Here’s something to add to your electronic agenda. During the winter season, have it ping once a month to warn you that it’s time to check the status of the summer bulbs (cannas, tuberous begonias, gladiolus, callas, etc.) that you stored cool and dry in your basement.

Be especially sure to remove any bulb that is starting to rot (yes, rot happens!), because the microbes causing rot can easily spread to previously healthy bulbs nearby.

If you see any insects, sprinkle the bulbs with diatomaceous earth, a biological insecticide that is advantageous under these circumstances in that it can be applied dry.

Also, if the bulbs show signs of shriveling (more likely to be the case closer to spring than early in the winter), indicating things are getting a bit too dry for their taste, spray them lightly with water to get them to plump up again.

A quick monthly lookover only takes a few minutes and can make a huge difference in the quality of your bulbs when spring comes around!

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