Just handed a bag of freshly dug crocosmia corms---Help!

jhchristOctober 12, 2012

Hello,

A complete Newbie here......just bought my first pair of gardening gloves!

I have just moved into a house with a yard (yay!) after living in an apartment for almost 20 years. There are no beds dug in the yard yet, and really I do not know where I want to even place beds yet! Alot of brush clearing has to happen first. There are some old overgrown beds, but I would like to see what pops up in them next Spring before I go messing around with them. But a kind-hearted family member has just handed me about 5 pounds of Lucifer Crocosmia corms. I asked her about getting them through the winter unplanted and she has no idea how to do that...she assumed I would be putting them in the ground right away.

What can I do that would give them a shot at surviving unplanted this Winter?

I have read everything from store them in a hanging onion bag to 'plant' them in a big box of peat moss and water them sparingly all winter.

All help appreciated....I know that these are beautiful plants, and I would like to have them thrive somewhere in my new yard!

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

You already know that Crocosmia is hardy in your area and does well - for someone to kindly give you five pounds of surplus bulbs ;-).

If the soil in your garden is gritty and doesn't hold water for too long after rain (more than half an hour before the puddles drain away) - I'd find a clear patch, dig out the weeds, make an eight to ten inch wide and two inch deep trench and plant out the bulbs with two inches between them. Then cover them over.

I'd mark the trench at either end with a sturdy peg that no bird will be able to move. Then I'd mulch that row with branchlets up to a thumb's thickness in diameter, then covered by twigs and leaves so air can get through and it doesn't become boggy over winter.

If you know the frosts can be unfriendly in your area you could also use a row cover over them for added protection.

Then, when the mad rush of spring is over and you know your garden better, you can think about where you'd like to place your bulbs.

They will probably transplant if you lift them - leaves, roots, dirt and all - from the trench in spring, and plant them on into prepared sites.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:05PM
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jhchrist

Thanks so much...I can do this!
About how deep should the first cover layer of dirt be? 2-3 inches or more ?
Also, I was given these bulbs last Wed.---I should be acting pretty fast now right? They are right now in a string bag with their dirt left on them from digging them up..

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:52AM
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gardengal48

Ideally, I would store them until you can plant in early spring or as soon as you can get the beds prepared. You just need a cool, dark and dry place, like an unheated cellar or garage.

I'd dry them slightly in a single layer out in the sun for a few hours or half a day. You can then store them in peat moss or sawdust or even leave them in the string or 'onion' bag.

This is one bulb that doesn't tolerate winter wet soils well and unless you already have a very sandy, fast draining area picked out and prepared, IMO it is just safer to store.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 6:27PM
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maplerbirch(4)

An unheated garage in Zone 6 may be too cold for bulb storage? What would happen to the bulbs if 15
degrees below zero stayed for a week or so?

Are bulbs able to handle some freezing?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:12AM
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RadiantPoppy(7)

How about an experiment? They were free right?
Plant half like vetivert8 said.
Store half like gardengal48 said.
That way all your eggs aren't in one basket. I am betting that ALL of them will be fine if the drainage is good and the garage stays dry (my 2 cents).
Let us know how it goes whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:30PM
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