Fall is a great time to plant bulbs for the spring, but many garden hobbyists already have a slew of daughter bulbs, or offsets, that their current beds are producing. If you are looking for a way to expand your flower gardens for next year, digging these bulbs up and separating them will provide you with free bulbs to plant. The bulbs you have planted in the past produce offsets that are fed by the mother bulb until they can produce flowers on their own, and if you don’t separate them, your gardens may become overcrowded and sloppy looking. Follow these steps to separate your bulbs this fall.
- Get your new flower beds ready by adding compost, fertilizer, or manure to the soil. You can also treat the soil in the areas you dig the offsets out of as you go.
- Take your time and dig bulb clumps up one at a time. Some varieties may produce as many as fifty offsets, so you want to be sure you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Be careful as you dig. Some of your bulbs may be easy to locate if they still have leaves attached, but others could be damaged as you dig through the soil to find them. As you find bulbs, cover them in wet newspaper or burlap.
- It is easiest to separate offsets from mother bulbs while the leaves are still green, but it can be done at any time. Simply hold the group of bulbs and rock the offsets back and forth until they separate.
- Be sure to know the appropriate depth to plant each type of bulb you are working with, and plant accordingly, expanding your flower beds as far as you’d like.
- Water your bulbs so that the roots quickly become re-established and begin nourishing the leaves. Cover the soil with a layer of mulch to protect the bulbs through the winter.
As you get to work on separating your bulb offsets, remember that you can call Carol’s Colors at (541) 535-7074 at any time for help.