When to start watering

Lauw de Jager dejager@bulbargence.com
Mon, 07 Oct 2002 09:46:13 PDT
Mary Sue Ittner <msittner@mcn.org> a *crit 
Several years ago I remember a discussion on the IBS forum about when to
> start watering winter growing bulbs.

Dear Mary Sue and All,
Thanks for bringing up  again this interesting subject which is quite
relevant at the moment for us in the northern hemisphere. There seems to
be a lot of conflicting evidence, which means  that one cannot 
generalise. But some basic rules can be modified for each of our local
As a general rule take good notice of the climat  of the geographic
origin of the species. Observe the  behaviour of the plant in your own
conditions.  There are several south African species  which "give up hope"
if they receive no water before early autumn (here end of September) and
go dormantfor  the whole winter (Ferraria, Freesia alba). 
Some mediterranean genera thrive on some bursts of summer rain Moraea
polystachya, Cyclamen, Lycoris, Amaryllis belladonna, autumn flowering
Crocus. Some corms or bulbs may surprise us by already  forming shoots
even when kept dry, which is a sign that planting has been retarded too much.
 Some South african species grow very well with  a heavy rain the end
of the summer but also do well when planted (or watered) in Octobre.
For example Gladiolus splendens, Moraea simulans in the ground  received
 heavy rain early september and the first is already 30cm high and the M
simulans  has leaves of 100cm long. No doubt that the corms these early
growers will develop better and will be to a good size before an
eventual frost may disturb their growth in January.
  I know that Dave Fenwick will get back at me, saying  that in his
conditions  late planting (or late watering) will  give longer growth, 
well into his relativily cool summer, and  produces bigger corms.  But
this does not apply to our conditions here where the weather can be 
already  agressively hot in June.

   Was it not that Jim Duggan who terminates his selling period of South
African species by the end of September, which I thought was a good idea
(confirming that early planting was to be preferred). I was surprised
to read that now Jim says  that later planting  finally makes no
difference.  Jim  canb you explain a bit more please?
   May be some  soputh african  partipants  can enlighten us as to what
are the best rainfall patterns to  produce the most optimum flowering
for a given speicies in their natural habitats.
Kind regards

Lauw de Jager 
BULB'ARGENCE, 30300 Fourques, France
Région Provence/Camargue; (Climat zone 9a Mediterranean)

Site http//http://www.bulbargence.com/
"GUIDE POUR BULBES  MÉDITERRANÉENS" 116 pages, 400 photos, prix 10 E
EXPEDITION bulbes continuera jusqu'à mi-octobre
 (espèces à floraison automnale sont replantées)

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