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Old 11-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Anyone have a green thumb?
The flower bed in front of my house is large and has been a thorn in my side (figuratively and literally) the entire time I have owned this house. I have gradually tried to rearrange things to give it a semblence of order. Now I find myslef wanting to dig everything up and start again in the spring. I have a ton of irises and a few other bulbs that I would like to replant. The question is how to store them over the winter? Do I need to put them in boxes of dirt in our shed or just is mesh bags? Thoughts/advice....
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Perennial bulbs like irises and lilies should be left in the ground for the winter, just like tulips and daffodils. They need the cold period to complete their life cycle. Different perennials are planted at different times, also. New iris plantings are usually done late summer and spring-flowering bulbs are planted in the fall. Others, like lilies, can be planted in the spring.

Other bulbs/tubers/rhizomes like dahlias, cannas and callas are hardy to some areas. Here in NY they need to be dug up, but if I'm guessing correctly that you're in Virginia, then they may be hardy in your area. You'd have to check a garden site to see what zone you're in.

You could leave in the plants that you want to keep, plant some new in the spring, and fill in with annuals for some extra color over the summer.

I've only been gardening for a couple of years, but have learned a lot for my area. Check out your zone and then look up the plants that are best suited to that zone and you should have some good luck.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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If you have amaryllis , dig them up,brush off the soil and let dry for a day . Then pot up and put inside the house for blooms in winter, If you plants are perennials, they will probably be ok with mulch cover. But tender plants will be needing more than mulch to cover it. It may need wrapping with burlap and leaves piled down into the foliage and around it. If you have daylilies , they will probably go dormant and be ok until spring when they will start growing once the soil temperature rises. Daylilies are very hardy and can grow as far north as Ontario Canada where several people of my American Hemerocallis Society Email Robin List are listed as living.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Part of the problem is that many of the plants were not put in the ground by me (so I don't know what they are) and they seem to be migrating from one end of the garden to the other. They all live through the winter with mulch cover, but I need/want to move them and was hoping I could dig them all up and preserve them over the winter, put some weed killer into the soil, then come first thaw start "raising" the garden with a small brick wall and add topsoil and compost and replant.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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Some plants can be divided and replanted in the spring; some have to be done in the fall. That's hard to determine if you don't know what they are.

There are some garden sites where you can try to identify the plant and that will help you know if you can leave it in until the spring and divide it then, or if you can do it now.

Generally, though, if it's a hardy perennial for your area, you're best bet is to leave it in the ground if you want to preserve it.

If you dig them up in the spring, do your weeding and add the topsoil and then replant them, the worst that could happen is that you lose a few. You'll know soon enough if they're not going to come back. In that case you can replace them in time to take root for the summer.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Ingrid - I have been reading random sites online and have come to the conclusion that I am going to have to wait for spring. My son currently LOVES being outside and the weather has been gorgeous so I was hoping I could take advantage of the two factors in my favor and get moving on it now. Oh well. Guess I can spend all winter researching just how to configure the garden to make it more manageable.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:46 AM   #7
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I find that plotting out spring's garden in January helps me get through the coldest, darkest parts of winter. It gives time to look at different plants and find some new gems to add and how to arrange them all.

It reminds me that, yes, there will be another spring
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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Also, if they sell it near you, I'd recommend ProMix soil. It comes in large bales and worked perfectly for my raised beds.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:01 PM   #9
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I will look for the promix. If Lowe's doesn't have it I am sure one of the local co-ops will be able to get it for us. I raised my veggie garden when I put it in, but as of yet have not really done too much with the flower beds. I think raising them is the best option given our rotten soil - all red clay and rock. The poor guys that put in our fence earned every penny we paid them digging all those post holes.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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I hear ya. I'm convinced that my yard is what remains of Pangea. I was able to dig about an inch down before I hit clay and slate. Love my raised beds. The worms do, too.
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