heeling in

Here I am talking about heeling in the spring bulbs and they haven’t had a chance to bloom yet! Not around these parts anyway. The Jet Stream hasn’t seen fit to allow US a spell of continuous sunshine out of season.
To help your bulbs fill out or die off, it is necessary to dig them up every year or so after flowering by placing them upright, leaves and finished flowers attached, in a deep trench. Find an out-of-the-way spot, and make sure the pit is sufficiently large to accommodate the bulbs you have dug up. The soil is returned to the trench, mixed in with a fair amount of peat moss, and as you do it, carefully support the bulbs as you fill in to the top of their temporary quarters. During the summer the bulbs will reabsorb the nutrient in the leaves and reach their full size without having to fight for space. The mother might die and leave the child to take from her what she can give.
In late August lift the bulbs carefully from the pit and lay them on a sheet to dry in the sun – it should be shining by then – and after that clean away the old growth and skins in preparation for replanting.
Heeling in is by far the best way to increase bulb stock and insure a fine display of flowers. Some folk do it every year! If you have many bulbs to deal with, work out an easy rotation spread out over several years.


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