Tuesday, April 2, 2019

How to Separate Bulbs

  


If you notice that your spring flowers–daffodils, tulips, etc.– are looking a little crowded, it may be time to separate the bulbs.  The best time to do this is late fall or early winter when the bulbs are dormant.  But if your bulbs haven't started coming up, you might be able to still do it.  Here's what to do:

1. If you haven't already trimmed back dead leaves, cut them back so they are a few inches above the soil.

2. Make a large circle around the plant with a trowel, then carefully dig below the bulbs.  You want to make sure that you leave the root system intact.  This might mean that you need to go down a half a foot or so.

3. Shake away loose dirt so you can see the bulbs.  This will make separation easier.

4.  Separate with your fingers. Don't cut the bulb roots or try to separate them with a knife.  This can damage the plant.

5. Replant the bulb immediately.  If you can't do this for some reason, store the bulbs in a cool dry place, but don't store the bulbs for more than three months.

You'll want to separate your bulbs every two to three years.  Bulbs have this habit of multiplying underground.  So if you just let them sit around, you'll have a tightly-packed garden!

11 comments:

  1. Separate them or they breed like rabbits!

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  2. I did that last year for the first time ever. LOL Yes, it was one mass of bulbs and I need to do it again.

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    Replies
    1. It's not a fun job, but it's something that should be done.

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  3. Replies
    1. Well, if you manage not to harm the bulbs, I suppose you can still use your bread knife technique.

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  4. Hi Sherry - tidying up and making sure your garden is ready for Spring is an essential at this time of year ... bulb separation is a great idea - cheers Hilary

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  5. I keep digging up some of mine in the fall, trying to thin the flower beds, but I think it spurs more growth. Last year I started throwing out some, no one else left to give any starts to, lol.
    Sandy's Space

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    Replies
    1. My mom always tries to give me her starts, but I don't have any room for them.

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