Garden Preparation

An appreciation of the conditions under which bulbs grow in nature is of considerable help in understanding their needs in cultivation, but is by no means all-sufficient. When plants are grown away from their native homes-and perhaps are accommodated in pots indoors-they may respond to quite different soils, temperatures, moisture conditions, etc., than those to which they are subjected in the wild.

  1. Handle bulbs carefully. Any scarred or punctured bulb is more susceptible to decay or infestation.
  2. Make sure that the soil is the proper one. This might be hard to achieve, but generally an earth midway between sand and clay and containing a generous measure of organic matter is what most plants want.
  3. All plants need watering, but you should also provide good drainage. An overabundance of water around bulbs during the dormant period is particularly harmful.
  4. Plants respond to fertile soil, but fertilizers must not be used carelessly. Improper dosage can do more harm than good.
  5. When dealing with insects and diseases, proper diagnosis of the trouble is of primary importance.