I'd like to start planting glads in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Very green at this. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated. Also, are glads the bulbs which you need to remove from the soil every fall and replant in the spring? Thanks!
Well, in cold places that is just what you have to do. I would think that Wyoming would qualify as cold in the winter. On the other hand, they are pretty tidy and sturdy little corms so pretty easy to dig up and store. What I read is that you dig a hole about 6" deep, pop in the corm (pointy end up) and put maybe one or two inches of dirt in. Water. When it starts growing about a few inches, back fill the hole to just about the top of the growth. Keep going until the dirt is level. This gives the plant a stable base. Mine tend to lean like mad even when I do that so I have either stakes or a tall grid to tie them to, Especially the flower stalks. Oh, and put some fish meal or some other bulb fertilizer in the hole before planting.
So in Alaska, when you dig them out and store, do you cut off the upper growth or keep it on, or does the upper growth simply fall off? Never having seen a corm or understand if the plant sheds the upper leaves, I wonder how to store them. It sounds like they are in the same, or a similar family to the iris only more sensitive to temperature. I've seen people with nice glads growing here, but don't know how they go about it. I think I heard something about keeping them in sawdust at 40 degrees over winter. Is there a rule of thumb about when it is safe to replant them in the spring that you know of?
You need to dig them and let them dry for a few days, then just tear off cleaning the stem. Cut off any roots that adhere and also the old bulb that died as the new one formed above it. It is usually a dark orange color. If it is dry enough it should just sort of twist off. I put mine in a paper bad in a 55 degree garage. 40-45 is probably better. I have heard a lot of things to store them in. They don't dessicate or rot as much as dahlias so it isn't as touchy. shavings are nice, but even in a closed paper bag where it is cool seems to work okay. The tiny ones might dry out.
Over our winter the garage gets below freezing at times. Do you think the bulbs would be effected negatively there? We have a basement which probably stays about 60-65 in winter as well. Either doesn't sound perfect, but what would you recommend? I could also try to insulate the corms and store in the garage if you think that might be a better idea. Is there a rule of thumb for planting outside in the spring? Do the corms have to harden off prior to planting?
I would worry about a below freezing situation, and you are right the 60-65 sounds awfully warm. I am no expert for sure but perhaps if you used insulation as you suggest the garage would be the better deal. Quite often the bulbs will start to grow on their own when their internal clock says it is time to grow. I usually start them indoors about four weeks before May 31 as that is our plant out date. You will have to play it by ear as to when it is safe to plant out. If they are planted directly in the ground you can put them out sooner as they won't do anything til the ground warms up enough to wake them up.