Saturday, October 10, 2009

Garden Preparation for Winter

As we watch the leaves on the trees begin to change colors, enjoy the cooler days, and begin to wrap up the gardening season, my mind begins wandering to next years garden and different things I'd like to try.

As caladiums, elephant ears, nasturtiums, dahlia's, cosmos, zinnia's, sunflowers, and a host of other plants drift through my mind, I'm suddenly reminded that there are plants that need to be dug up before the first frost. Namely my elephant ear and amaryllis bulbs. The elephant ears can wait for a few more weeks, but the amaryllis need tending to right now if I want to possibly have blooms this spring.

Trimming the tops of the amaryllis off
I planted the amaryllis, pot and all, in my garden early this past spring with the intent to dig them up and bring them indoors this fall. This afternoon, after pulling up other plants and doing a bit of weeding, I dug up the amaryllis and took them into the shop. I cleaned the pots up just a bit and then began trimming the leaves off of the plants.

Stashed away for the next few months.
Then I placed them, still in the pots, in a cardboard box and set them on "Ashley's Gardening/Dog Stuff/Outdoor Stuff" shelf, where they will reside till January. I've read and been told that if you keep the plants in a cool dark place you can bring them out after a certain number of weeks and begin to tend to them (ie. feed, water, give them conditions that are right for growth). They will then, supposedly, bloom again- although it won't be anything like it was last year. Amaryllis put on a prolific show every three years and the bulbs or flowers that we buy from the store are 'first year bloomers' which is why they cost more. In January I will re-pot the bulbs and then begin another cycle of amaryllis care. I can't wait to see the results!


Sarah said...

I must say, Ashley, your first photo doesn't quite seem to fit with the title! It still looks like springtime! :) You do such a good job with your flowers, and I do not know how you keep them booming as long as they do. :) You definitely have a green thumb! I just love your mums! They are so full, and their flowers are brilliant.

How glad I am that you posted about your amaryllis! I had been wondering what I should be doing with mine, and now I know. :) It is already inside, but I think this week I'll do to it what you did to yours. Thank you again for sharing this! :)

I hope that you have a wonderful week, Ashley! :)

Ashley said...

Well Sarah, what that photo doesn't show you is the hummingbird vine that's starting to turn brown, the slight color change in the leaves in the surrounding trees, and the elephant ears that are just beginning to show signs of dying back. Those mums sure do allot to brighten the place up and make it look like 'springtime'!! :o)

Sadly, due to the large amount of rain that we received yesterday, the mums now have 'holes' in the center of the plant. It appears that the weight of the flowers and the steady downpour of rain weighed the plant down to where all the 'branches' and flowers have shifted to the sides. Oh well, they are still pretty!

I'm glad that I could be of help to you with the amaryllis. Wouldn't it be something if it bloomed next March??!

Thank you so much for your comment!