Jim McKenney
Sat, 08 Dec 2007 08:16:36 PST
Encouraged by the success I've had with some Eremurus in a raised bed, I
ordered and received more this fall. When I unpacked them I was dismayed to
see that all of them looked as if they had been through the war: the thong
like roots were battered, broken and nicked. One did not even have a viable
crown: it was just a chunk of crown without a visible bud. 


Never one to follow directions well, I ignored the instructions to plant
them immediately and instead kept them outside, exposed to the weather, on
the deck. Eventually I soaked them and immediately noticed a change in the
roots: they plumped up agreeably. All of the breaks and nicks also sprouted
mold immediately. I left the rootstocks out in the open air, exposed to sun
and rain for several more weeks. During this period the main buds for
vegetative growth began to swell noticeably - that I take as a very
encouraging sign. As soon as the snow melts (a warming trend is predicted
for the next few days) I'll plant them out into the garden. 


Here's why I'm really writing: all of these Eremurus show signs of something
black around their crowns. The more I look at this, the more I'm convinced
that it is charring. 


So here's my question for the group: do the commercial growers burn the
plots after the plants have died down? And if so, is this done for weed
control or to promote blooming or to control some disease - or maybe all of
the above?  


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7 where a white-flowered Crocus
cartwrightianus is blooming and C. ochroleucus is in bud; one of the witch
hazels is in full bloom, too! 

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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