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Plants that will bring color to your garden

Bulbs:As far as most gardeners are concerned, bulbs include corms, tubers or rhizomes. These are easy to grow and require little attention. A bulb is a modified shoot with layers of fleshly s cales which are closely folded over each other, and filled with reserve plant foods, including protein, starch or sugar to carry it through the dormant period. Some bulbs suxh as onions, narcissus and tulip have swollen scales that completely envelop the bulb. These are known as scaly bulbs. It should be noted that the parent bulb dies during the course of the seaon, leaving one or two large off-spring bulbs,a nd possibly a few smaller ones. Shallot and garlic produce several off-spring bulbs during the course of the season. These off-shoots are known as cloves.

Tubers:These are thickened shoots which include the well-known potato and ornamentals such as dahlias, tuberous begonia and cyclamen. Potatoes produce new growth from eyes, while dahlias’new groth cones come from crown buds which appear at the base of the previous year’s flower stems.

Corms:Gladioli which consist of a solid flesh is the best example of a corm. During its growth, a new corm is formed, and the original corm shrivels and eventually disappears. Tiny bulbets around the root base of the new corm which would probably take about twor or three years to grow into flowering bulbs.

Rhizones:These are creeping underground stems, thick and swollen which roots and then send up successfully from the shoots leaves or flowering stems. Iris or lily of the valley are known rhizones.

Type of soil for planting bulbs:A light, well-drained sand loam is the best for bulbous plants, but they will also so well in any soil of similar consistency. If your soil is heavy, I would recommend that a little sand be mixed in and around where the bulbs are to be planted. Well-rotted horse or cow manure, placed in the area would benefit your flowering bulbs. It should be noted that the foliage should not be removed until the bulbs have quite gone to rest, as the slow ripening of the bulbs which make up next year’s flowers are formed. Removing the foliage prematurely ripens and weakens the bulbs and stops them flowering the following season.

Depth of planting bulbs:These flowering bulbs discussed above should be planted to a depth equak to twice their diameter measuring from the top of the bulb. The importance of planting a bulb with sand in heavy soil is recommended as it forms an excellent padding and produces strong plants.

Lifting bulbs:It is desirable that you lift your bulbs every two or three years during their resting season.

Planting guide for January

Vegetables:Beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, celery, collard, cucumber, eggplant, onion, parsley, peas, pumpkin, peppers, potatoes, radish, spinach, swiss chard, tomato, turnip and watermelon.

Flowers:Ageratum, alyssum, African daisy, aster, begonia, balsam, calendula, candyturf, celsoia, carnation, cornflower, dianthus, delphinium, gallarida, gerber, hollyhock, larkspur, lupine, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, petunia, phlox, salvia, shasta daisy, snapdragon, stock, sweet pea, sweet William, verbena and vinca.

Grasses: Bahia, centipede and zoysia.

For help with your garden problems, write to: Garden Korner, P.O. Box N-3011, Nassau.

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