Spring bulbs and strawberries
Daffodils and freesia which can be left in the ground for a few seasons, need to be lifted and divided about every 3-4 years. Now is a good time to do that while they are dormant.
be lifted and divided about every 3-4 years. Now is a good time to do that while they are dormant.
Be careful not to damage the bulbs. Once lifted they can be separated and placed on a tray in an airy situation out of sunlight. Plant out the better sized bulbs, placing the smaller ones into a nursery tray with compost to grow on.
Spring bulb seeds can also be planted in nursery trays.
Xmas and other lilies will be in foliage at this time and it is important to leave them till the foliage dies down. If the clump has not been lifted for three or more years, lift while dormant, separate and replant. Lily bulbs must not be allowed to dry out so while out of the ground keep in moist sawdust, sphagnum moss or straw.
Dahlias will die back as winter creeps in and can be lifted (best) or left in the soil to take their chances in winter. Again, allow to dry in an airy situation out of direct sunlight and store safely dry till the spring.
Whole tubers can be planted, but it is better to layer them in a tray with compost and let them sprout by keeping moist. As with kumera, when there are sprouts about 8cm tall, lift and with a sharp knife par the sprout away from the tuber without damaging any roots.
Place these into small pots with compost to grow on and develop more roots before planting out. The old tuber can be thrown away.
Do this and you will have better dahlias each year.
Now, what to do about strawberry runners. Ensure they are running across soil so that they can take root, and spray them every couple of weeks with Mycorrcin.
In May, lift the runners and replant. Older thick clumpy parent plants will not do so well and can be discarded and replaced with these free runner plants.
Now is the time to select and plant bulbs for spring show.