Lifting tender bulbs and tubers
Amateur Gardening|September 25, 2021
It’s time to shelter those less hardy perennials, says Ruth
Ruth Hayes

WE gardeners love and nurture our more exotic summer flowers, the canna lilies, dahlias and gladioli, though sadly our climate rarely treats them with the same consideration.

In many areas, the UK’s chilly winters kill off tender tubers, corms and bulbs, or they rot when left in soil that stays sodden and cold for months on end.

If you have a warm, sheltered southern garden you may be able to leave tender tubers in the soil through winter, as long as they have a thick overcoat of mulch, straw or bark chips to keep out the worst of the cold.

But in most areas, gardeners are advised to lift and store them somewhere dry and frost-free. Most should be lifted before the first frosts, though dahlias are left until sub-zero temperatures blacken their leaves.

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