Northern Gardeners Checklist For February

By: Marshall Clewis


Tender bulbs and tubers that are in storage for the winter should be given an inspection in February. Cannas, dahlias and tuberous begonias that have been packed in a storage material (sand, peat moss, vermiculite, etc.) should be examined for evidences of insects and diseases and to ascertain whether or not the packing medium has become too dry.
Any of these conditions should be corrected before trouble develops. Storage temperature, too, should be checked. Gladiolus, dahlias and cannas should be stored at temperatures that do not go above 40 degrees nor below 33 degrees.
Tuberous begonias, Peruvian daffodils and other warm climate plants should be stored at temperatures that do not go above 60 degrees or below 40 degrees. The corns of gladiolus should be examined for evidence of insects and diseases and if they have not been cleaned of the soil from the garden, now is the time to do so.
The stub of the old stalk which was left attached at digging time should be removed. It should be dry enough by now so that it can be detached without injury to the upper surface of the corm. The withered remains of the old mother corm also should be separated from the new corm.
Usually it can be snapped off without leaving any part attached to the new caladium bulb. If some of the old corm should persist, it should be cut out carefully with a sharp pocket knife and done so that the base of the new bulb is not injured. After cleaning glad corms, dust them with an insecticide to keep caladium bulbs thrips under control.
If there are any evidences of diseases, dust them with one of the new combination insecticide-fungicides now on the market and commonly known as "glad dusts". Soft corms and badly blemished ones should be discarded, keep only clean, solid corms.

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