|Dahlias in summer|
To those who think that gardening is a one season wonder I say, not so! While I'm spending most of my time indoors as of late I haven't completely given up gardening. There are still tasks to be done to carry me through to spring. One of these is checking up on those dahlia tubers I stored in the fall. Although they may survive very well on their own it's still good practice to look at these tubers and make sure all is well in their world. So I trucked on down to the basement recently and pulled out the box with all my tubers inside. As this is my first year storing tubers in this house it's even more important to check and make sure I've selected the right place for storage. Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case.
Basements are usually dark, cool and damp. Ideal for the storage of vegetables and roots. But in our case hubby has transformed the once dark cool basement into a workshop. Lights are consistently on and the heat is turned up making our basement dry and warm. When I pulled out the box some of the bulbs looked like this.
Can you see how wrinkled and dry that protruding bulb is? You don't want your bulbs to look like this. If a bulb dries out entirely it will die. Now this was my mistake as I didn't completely cover the bulbs with peat moss. That would have helped the situation. The bulbs below were adequately covered and look quite well.
To remedy the situation I misted the bulbs with water and then completely covered them with peat. They may not completely recover but they won't get any worse.
Moving the bulbs to a better location is also imperative. I've kept them in the basement but I've moved them further away from the furnace into a dark corner. We'll leave them there for a few weeks and check on them again to see how their coping in their new home.
If you're storing bulbs for the first time it can take a bit of fussing to find the right storage conditions. Dark and cool conditions are important. Too dry and your bulbs will shrivel away. But also be aware of too moist conditions. Too much water can cause bulbs to rot. Just remember to check your bulbs a couple times throughout the winter so you know they're doing okay in their winter home. Storing bulbs shouldn't require much work, it's just finding the right spot and making sure you've stored them well.