In Latin, the name of this flower, gladiolus, means “short sword”. Gladiolus leaves really resemble this weapon, therefore, among medieval landsknechts and Roman gladiators, the flower bulb was considered a talisman and was worn in a bag on the chest to deflect the blows of enemies.
Until the 19th century, gladioli were wild plants; it was only in 1807 that the British, William Herbert, began to cross species growing in South Africa to get larger and brighter flowers. Work in this direction does not stop even now, there are many types of gladioli, so you will have plenty to choose from.
The most popular are the rich red Oscar, Dmitry Solunsky with delicate white corrugated flowers, lilac Blue Frost, yellow with pumpkin-orange border “Halloween” – there are actually a lot of options. A flowerbed looks very beautiful with different varieties of gladioli, pleasing the eye with a variety of shades.
Prepare for planting gladioli in advance, in the fall. Choose a sunny place (gladioli may not bloom at all in the shade), preferably protected from the north wind and drafts that tall flowers can bring down. The garden bed is dug up, compost is brought in. Gladiolus, of course, prefers fertile soil with humus, but it will grow well on sandy loam soil, the main thing is that water does not stagnate on the site, the lowland will not work.
If you stocked up on the bulbs in the fall, you need to store them in a dry place at a temperature of 4 to 10 ° C, preferably in the basement, like tulip bulbs. About 20 days before the planned planting, the bulbs should be carefully sorted out, discarded, dried, damaged, covered with mold..
The bulbs are cleaned of integumentary scales, their surface should be dense and shiny. The buds of roots, which look like thick tubercles, as well as thick buds that have emerged in spring, will tell about the health of the bulbs of gladioli.
All bulbs should be immersed in a solution of foundationol or strong potassium permanganate for 30 minutes for 30 minutes. Before planting the onion, it is highly desirable to pickle it for another 20 minutes in a weak solution of fungicide in order to accurately prevent possible diseases. Gladioli are planted in late April or early May, when the soil warms up to + 10 ° C. Previously, you can germinate the bulbs by spreading them in a shaded, but warm place, buds up. No need to moisturize.
Gladioli are planted as follows:
- The garden bed is dug up, fertilized with rotted compost.
- A trench up to 15 cm deep is dug on the garden bed for large bulbs, 5 centimeters are enough for small ones, and 10 cm for medium ones.
- A layer of coarse sand can be poured at the bottom of the trench.
- The bulbs are slightly pressed into the ground, the distance between them should be from 7 to 15 cm, depending on the size. Leave a gap of 30 cm between the rows.
- On top, you can pour a layer of wood ash and some sand.
- Trenches with bulbs are covered with earth and leveled.
To make the gladiolus hatch faster, you can cover the bed with a film, making something like a small greenhouse on a thick wire. It will be needed only before the onset of hot enough weather, as well as in case of spring frosts. As soon as gladioli have sprouted massively, weeds should be pulled out, loosened and mulched as protection against drying out and the appearance of new weeds..
In the future, it is quite simple to care for gladiolus – to loosen the soil, fight weeds, if you did not take care of mulching, water it. These flowers love generous watering, because their bulbs are located deep enough, so you have to add up to 15 liters of water per square meter so that it gets to the roots, otherwise there will be no sense. It is better to water between rows so that water does not fall on the leaves of gladioli.
At first, when the plant grows vigorously, nitrogen fertilizers can be applied, and then two additional fertilizing with potash and phosphorus fertilizers can be carried out. However, if your soil is fertile, you can do without fertilizers. Tall gladioli may need supports such as pegs or wire stretched along the bed. How you tie tomatoes, the principle is the same. Gladiolus is a perennial plant, but it all depends on the climate. In the middle lane, the bulbs should be dug up, sorted out in the fall, separated from the mother’s base and stored in the basement until spring, to be planted again after the onset of heat.
A few tips:
- gladioli should be watered in the evening, with warm water, about once a week, in drought – more often.
- if aphids appear, use an insecticide such as Karbofos. You can also treat flowers for prevention..
- The gladioli bulbs are dug up from September 15 to October 15, depending on the climate and the prevailing weather. After digging, the stems are cut off, and the bulbs themselves are washed and dried before storing..
- daughter bulbs should not be planted next to larger mother bulbs. It is better to allocate a separate bed for them..