The vegetative rest
In autumn, during the burial phase, the bulbs are in a stage of vegetative rest, even if the contact with the earth will give way to develop the root system before the arrival of the cold. The bulb, sensing the low temperature, carries out its defense, blocking all its activities. When the first rays of sun arrive, and the season opens at temperatures above zero temperature, the bulb starts waking up by engaging the vital functions that will allow the plant to make the sprout tick. Later we will witness the growth and flowering that will give color to our gardens.
It is important to bury the bulbs before the period of actual germination and flowering to ensure that the bulb arrives ready for the period of early maturation, overcoming this initial phase of rooting.
How to recognize the vegetative rest of the bulbs
Bulbs, despite their particular shapes, are actually like all other plants. They grow, bloom, reproduce and then rest. The vegetative rest of the bulbs is recognizable thanks to typical symptoms of this state. The bulbs in fact when they enter in vegetative rest they have the leaves that begin to yellow and desiccate. Subsequently the leaves fall progressively and when the leaves have all fallen it is the ideal time to proceed with the unearthing of the bulbs. The unearthing is essential to make the bulbs flourish and they must first be placed in a dry and airy room to dry and then bagged and placed in a dry and dark environment before replanting.
The drying phase of the bulbs is essential to dry them and make sure that mold and strange rots do not arise during storage.
Not all bulbs need to be removed
The operation described above for the unearthing of the bulbs is not necessary for all the species of bulb but only for some. Irises, lilies, daffodils, for example, do not need to be removed. They withstand the cold of winter without problems and therefore can be left in the ground for years.
Other bulbs, on the other hand, which bloom in the summer and suffer too low temperatures such as begonias, canes, dahlias and gladioli, need to be sheltered in winter in areas where temperatures can drop by many degrees below zero.
Vegetative rest of the bulbs: When and how to plant the bulbs
Depending on the flowering period the bulbs can be planted at different times. Spring-flowering bulbs must be planted from October to December. Tulips, hyacinths and daffodils should therefore be placed in the ground before January to have flowers as soon as possible.
As for the summer flowering bulbs instead, the best time to plant them is from March to May, with a tendency for the spring months more advanced for those species that suffer a lot from late frosts like gladioli, begonias and dahlias.
For the planting of the bulbs we will have to choose a rich, fertile but above all filtering soil capable of properly releasing water to avoid water stagnation. Sand is an optimal element for improving too heavy soils.