How To Remember Where Your Garden Bulbs Are Located

Now that fall is upon us, it is time to start preparing your flowerbeds for winter. This means dividing and replanting all of your favorite bulbs. If you plant a lot of bulbs, it can be difficult to remember where they are planted and can even result in some accidental dig ups. If you want to ensure that your bulbs will remain in place for spring flowering, it is important to remember where they are planted. Here are a couple of great ideas.

Use Garden Markers

If you want to remember where certain bulbs are planted during the winter and early spring, garden markers are a great choice. You can purchase premade markers from your local hardware store or nursery. You can also make markers quite simply by writing on a wooden stick, or even by placing painted rocks near important bulbs.

Make a Flowerbed Map

If you don’t want to fill your flowerbeds with markers or other physical indications of where things are planted, consider making a simple flowerbed map. The process is actually quite simple. Measure your flowerbed and then draw out a simple scaled representation on a sheet of paper. Generally 1 inch on your map can represent 1 foot in your flowerbed. Your map doesn’t have to be exact to be helpful. As you plant bulbs and other plants, simply make a dot using a marker or colored pencil in the coordinating area on your map. If you use graph paper, it will be easier to keep track of where each dot should be placed.

Make a simple key indicating which colors were used for which plants. For example, you may want to mark daffodils with a yellow dot, tulips with a pink one and crocus with a purple dot. Next time you work in the garden, you can use your map to dig with confidence knowing that you know where all of your bulbs are.

These two simple ideas will help you keep track of your newly planted bulbs and will help to ensure that come spring your flowerbed is filled with vibrant and colorful blooms.

How To Split And Multiply Iris Bulbs

Now that fall is upon us, it is time to start preparing plants for winter. This includes splitting your iris for next year. Ideally, splitting occurs during the late summer and early fall. You will want to get your iris split as soon as possible to keep them from molding and rotting. The more warm weather that they have, the better able they will be to take root before winter strikes.

Irises should be divided every three to five years. A good general rule for knowing when your iris need to be divided is to watch them while they are in bloom. If your iris plants have many beautiful flowers, you don’t need to split them. Once you start to notice fewer flowers, you will know that it is time to divide them once again. Irises aren’t traditional bulbs. They are in fact rhizomes, which makes the splitting process a little different than you might have encountered with your other bulbs.

To split iris plants, you will first need to remove them from the ground. It is a good idea to cut back the green blade like foliage of the plant before digging. Trim each leaf fan down until about four inches from the ground. Then, dig the plants up carefully and slowly remove dirt from the rhizomes. Also remove and discard any moldy, rotten or soft pieces of rhizome.

Some people choose to break the rhizome when dividing; however, it is much more effective and accurate to divide using a clean knife. Cut the rhizome into smaller sections. Remember that to grow effectively, each piece will need a few inches of rhizome as well as some leaves. As you divide your iris carefully, examine the leaves and the rhizome for disease and insects.

Once the irises have been divided, you can begin transplanting into various areas in your garden. Iris thrive in sunny environments. They do not need a lot of water; in fact, dry soil helps them to avoid rot and other common problems. Plant your iris so that the fan of leaves will be directly facing the sun. They should be placed a couple of inches below the ground, with the top of the rhizome just barely poking out of the soil.
Your newly divided plants may not bloom their first year in the ground. However, you will find that regular dividing of your irises keeps them healthy, vibrant and looking their best. Plus, you will have more of your favorite iris available to plant in your yard or to share with friends.