• Mar 28

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

Crabgrass, a summer annual, appears in the lawn as a light green plant and can be eliminated with or without chemicals.  One of the best non-chemical lawn care practices to prevent the invasion of crabgrass or any other weed is to mow at the correct height. Setting your mower to a height of 2 ½ “to 3” can have a big impact as it helps to create a dense, thick lawn.  It has been estimated that using the proper mowing practice can eliminate about 80 percent of weedy species in the lawn.  Closely mowed grass leaves an open invitation for weed seeds to germinate as it “opens up” the lawn.  A thick stand of grass will shade the soil and therefore discourage crabgrass germination.

Adequate and timely fertilization can further reduce weed competition by increasing turf-grass vigor.  Open and weak turf-grass areas promote crabgrass infestations because of higher soil temperatures which promote germination and decrease competition from cool season grasses.  It is recommended to apply 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 ft squared each year.  Apply 60-100% of the nitrogen in two applications in the fall, one in September and one in November after the last mowing. A summer application of nitrogen will just feed and strengthen the crabgrass you have.

Weed killers, also known as herbicides, are available to manage those annual weeds that may plague our lawns.  There are preemergence herbicides that prevent the emergence of annual weeds such as crabgrass.  This product needs be applied before germination takes place.  Application in a timely manner allows the herbicide to form a barrier before the crabgrass seedlings try to emerge.  These products do not eliminate already existing plants.  I would suggest you refer to the Growing Degree Days chart at www.gddtracker.net/?model=7&offset=0&zip=46746 (insert your zip code if different than 46746).  This chart will help you determine the best time to apply herbicides.  This year the week of March 21st is in the optimum time frame to be applying a preemergence herbicide for crabgrass.  Herbicides may differ so always read, understand and follow the label for suggestions on when to apply and the application rate of what you have chosen to use.  Do not use preemergence herbicides on newly seeded areas or areas to be seeded.

Quite often preemergence herbicides are combined with fertilizers as a weed and feed product.  It is generally recommended to purchase a preemergence herbicide/fertilizer product with a slow release nitrogen in it.

The ideal growing conditions for crabgrass are light, frequent watering and areas of bare, warm soil.  When irrigating, do so deeply to wet the soil to the depth of the roots.  Do not water again until you notice drought stress.  Apply grass seed to bare areas.

There are post-emergence herbicides available and need to be applied when the crabgrass plants are very small.  Usually by the time you notice the crabgrass it is too mature for the post-emergence herbicide to work.  There is more difficulty in using these products than in using the pre-emergence ones.  It is extremely important to follow the label instructions.  Consider herbicidal control only if necessary.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs.  The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Mar 21

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

Are you bewildered by some of the information on seed packets or in seed catalogs?  Once you know the lingo, a seed packet or catalog can give you a wealth of information such as hybrid types, growing season and disease resistance just to name a few.  To help you decipher some of the gardening shorthand, here are explanations to some common phrases you may come across.

Seeds are sown, plants are planted, so when it says “direct sow”, that means you will be placing the seed directly into your garden soil where it will be grown.  An annual is a plant that germinates, flowers and dies (completes its life cycle) in one season.  A biennial plant takes two seasons to complete its life cycle, flowering during the second year. A perennial plant will come back year after year.  A hybrid is bred from two parent stocks with the intention of combining the most desirable traits of each parent.  Seeds from a hybrid should not be saved as they will usually not produce the same plant the following year.  Hybrid seeds are often designated as F1.  Open pollinated or heirloom seeds are varieties that have stable traits from one generation to the next.  These seeds may be saved as they will grow true to type.

Bush means it will have a more compact, low to the ground, bushy shape.  Climbing or pole will have a sprawling growth habit and will require a support system.  A “heavy feeder” will require frequent fertilizing.  Maturity indicates time to harvest from day of planting.  Thin, means to remove seedlings in order to make more room for the remaining plants to develop.  If dug out carefully, you can transplant the seedlings.

When it comes to disease resistance in tomatoes you may want to shop for the one with the longest string of letters.  V-verticillium wilt, F-fusarium wilt, FF-fusarium, races 1&2, N-nematodes, T-tobacco mosaic virus, A-alternaria stem canker,ST-stemphylium gray leaf spot and TSWV-tomato spotted wilt virus.  Good luck with that.  A determinate tomato plant is shorter and will produce fruit over a four to six week period.  An indeterminate tomato plant will run amuck through your garden.  Just joking!  This type of tomato will need some room though as it will continue to grow, flower and produce fruit throughout the season.

Hardiness zone is shown as a number or a range of numbers and refers to the USDA Hardiness Zone map.  The map is made up of 11 zones based on the average minimum temperature in the winter.   The term hardy or half hardy refers to a plants ability to withstand a frost or full freeze. Cool season refers to seed that will germinate and grow during cooler weather in the spring or fall.  Seedlings can normally take a light frost and will most likely fail during the heat of the summer months.

The best way to learn about a plant is to grow it…..have fun seed shopping! As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Jan 11

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

I’m sure many of you will be making seed choices for the upcoming garden planting season as you thumb through the pages of the gardening catalogs that will be landing in your mailbox soon.  Making good seed choices is but one of the many steps that must be taken to achieve enjoyment and success in the garden.

1. If you do not already have an existing garden, choosing a good location is one of the first steps that should be considered.  The location should contain good soil that is loose, fertile, level and drains well.  Stay away from trees and bushes whose roots will compete for water and nutrients and that may shade the garden area. Having access to a water source nearby will be needed for periods of dry weather.

2. Next you will want to sketch a map of the garden for plant or crop arrangement.  Take into consideration the size of the garden, what you will be planting, the growing seasons and growth characteristics of what you will be planting.

3. Grow recommended varieties for your area or growing zone.  I cannot stress this enough.  What may grow well in Texas may not do so well here in.  Try to choose varieties that have disease-resistance.  Gardening is so much more fun if you don’t have to constantly be battling one disease/pest or another.

4. Have all equipment and supplies ready.  My garden must-haves are a hoe, rake, shovel, wheel barrow, measuring stick, plant identification stakes, string and wooden stakes.  I also like to wear a carpenter’s apron to store small items in such as seed packets, a felt tip marker, scissors and my phone.  Make a note to get any fungicides, fertilizers and insecticides, if you use them, early so you will have them on hand when needed.

5. Prepare the soil with organic matter and fertilizer and correct the acidity if needed.  Another item I cannot stress enough is having your soil tested.  It is very easy and inexpensive and will tell you what, if anything, your soil needs.

6. Take into consideration when and how you plant vegetables.  Check the hardiness of the vegetables you are planting as some can take a little frost while others cannot.  The seed packet will list it as hardy, half-hardy, tender or very tender and may give you a “plant after” date.  Plant disease free seeds at their proper planting depth.

7. Keep the weeds in check.  If allowed to get too large they will compete with the vegetables for water and nutrients.

8. Do not let those pesky insects take over your garden and stay on top of any diseases.  Rotate your crops to avoid these issues.

9. Water properly during dry periods.  Soak the soil thoroughly to a depth of about 6 inches.  A garden will need 1 inch of water per week including rain water.

10. Harvest your vegetables at their peak.  Do not allow vegetables to rot in the garden.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Jan 4

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

Like most people, once February rolls around I am itching to get outdoors and get my hands in some dirt or on some tools. Late winter or early spring, before new growth appears, are considered the best times to prune most plants.  During this time a plants wounds will heal quickly without threat of disease or insect infestation.

Landscape plants can be pruned to reduce or maintain their size, to remove undesirable growth, to remove dead or damaged branches and to rejuvenate older plants to produce more vigorous foliage, flowers and fruits.  In some cases it is necessary to prune to prevent damage to property.

There are proper techniques to follow when pruning.  Plants that bloom in early spring such as forsythia, pussy willow and crabapple will need to be pruned later in the spring after their blooms fade.  Such early bloomers produce their buds on last year’s wood, so pruning before blossoming will remove many potential blooms.

While it is recommended that a tree or shrub be allowed to develop its natural shape as much as possible, there are times that weak branches or branches that have formed at a poor angle to the trunk need to be cut back.  Thin this type of growth by removing the branch at its point of origin, leaving a small stub of about ½ inch.  Pruning too close to the trunk opens the plant up to extensive decay.  Look for crossed branches that rub or interfere with each other and those that form narrow crotches.   Pruning such branches will prevent future issues.

Heading back is a technique used to reduce size.  Shorten branches by cutting back to a healthy side bud or branch that is growing in the direction you want growth to develop. Make cuts about ½ inch from the bud or branch.

Evergreen trees are not pruned by the same methods as most other plants.  You can encourage denser trees by pinching the “candles” of new growth that emerge in late spring.  Pinch off half of a candle when it reaches a length of about 2 inches.  Using a sharp knife or your fingers will not damage the surrounding needles.

To encourage fast healing of wounds, use sharp equipment that will give you a clean, smooth cut.  Avoid tearing the bark, especially on larger lings.  Make a slant cut as this will prevent water from collecting in the cut and will promote quicker healing.  Clean blades with alcohol between each cut to discourage the spread of any disease, should it be present.  Finish up with another dose of alcohol and then oil the blade to prevent rusting.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Dec 21

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

You are probably thinking, winter gardening, how can that happen when everything is frozen?  Well, I am talking about sitting down with a cup of hot tea, your favorite throw and the bevy of seed catalogs that are about to arrive.  But before you get all nestled in, look out your windows to survey your winter landscape.  Is anything missing? Are there any areas that could use some color, texture or some other interest for your winter garden?  Grab a pen and paper and make note of these areas as a reminder while you are flipping the pages of those catalogs.

Evergreens are one of my favorite “winter interest” plants.  Trees and shrubs come in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes and textures.  Colors can range from greens to blues to even golds.  Not only do they provide a stark contrast to the abundant snow, but they also provide shelter for our feathered friends.

You might also consider shrubs that can add some great color to the white winter landscape.  Some that have colored bark and/or berries are red and yellow twig dogwood, high bush cranberry, nannyberry, cotoneaster and holly.  Fruit bearing trees and shrubs not only fill the “winter interest” color category, they also provide food for the many birds and wildlife that winter here.  Native to Indiana are American cranberry bush, elderberry and winterberry holly.

Trees that have attractive bark are another alternative to consider.  The European white birch comes to mind, but can be a short-lived tree as it is susceptible to damage by the bronze birch borer and leaf miners.  Some other alternatives are river birch or paper bark maple.  Look for disease and pest resistant varieties.

Interesting branch structure can be very cool.  The twisted corkscrew-like branches of Harry Lauder’s walking stick make a great focal point, not just in the winter, but all season long.  The curly twig willow will give you some great branch structure but you must be mindful not to plant it near a septic system because of its’ aggressive root system.

When making your selection of course keep in mind the plants mature size and always check its’ hardiness rating.  In our area you will want to select plants that are rated for zone 5.   You might keep in mind that some of the branches from the bushes I have mentioned also make for great decorating in the winter when combined with assorted evergreens and placed in window boxes and outdoor containers.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs.html The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Dec 14

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

I will confess that I am not the worlds’ greatest garden planner.  I am more of the “oh hey this looks cool, I think I will give it a try” kind of gardener.  That kind of thinking does not always work out well.  But, seriously, when it comes to growing an attractive, productive garden, planning really is a must.

Creating a plan helps you with everything from deciding which seeds to order to trying to figure out if you have enough space to grow everything you want to grow.  Having a plan will help you save money and time and probably quite a few headaches during the gardening season.

First, draw your garden area, to scale, on graph paper.   This will help you see how much space you really have more clearly.  Next, write down everything you would like to grow.  Once you have made your wish list of vegetables and you know how much space you have to grow them in, it’s time to make some choices and maybe some cuts.  What do you really want to grow?  What will you and your family really eat?  Which cold crops to plant and what to replace them with when the weather turns hot?  This requires some strategic planning which can help you keep your shopping list to a minimum.   Gardeners Supply has a free online garden planning tool that you can use to turn your planting list into an actual garden plan.  A planner can help you figure out how much of each plant you can grow and it can also help you figure out succession planting.  Remember to rotate your crops.

The next step is to decide if you are going to start your plants from seed or are you going to buy transplants.  Either way, you will need to come up with a schedule, based on your plan, of when to plant everything.  Johnny’s Selected Seed website has a seed starting interactive calendar and succession planting calendar on their site.  Give it a try!

A good garden plan can help you have a more productive garden next year without a lot of headaches!

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in De Kalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Dec 7

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

All of us have recently been made aware of how much the outside temperatures can fluctuate during the late fall/ winter season.  Woody plants are able to survive freezing temperatures because of the metabolic changes that happen within the plant with the changing of the seasons.  You have heard terms such as cold hardy, frost hardy and winter hardy.  They are used to describe woody plants that can survive freezing temperatures without being injured during their winter dormancy period.

According to Elton Smith and Mary Ann Rose of Ohio State University (see HTG-1016-96) the genetic capacity of a plant to getting acclimated to freezing temperatures determines its cold hardiness.  The cold hardiness of a species is usually considered to be the lowest midwinter temperature that the plants tissues can take.  Sometimes injury occurs during the fall or spring when the plant is not at its maximum hardiness.  Many plants develop their hardiness to freezing temperatures in response to changes in the amount or duration of light they receive and temperature.  The shortened hours of daylight in the fall starts the hardening process by slowing the vegetative growth.  Cool temperatures initiate the accumulation of sugars and changes in cell membrane permeability.

Causes of winter injury to trees and shrubs are brought on by extreme cold, drying winds, bright sunlight or a sudden drop in temperature.  How much winter damage a plant will experience is determined by a number of factors which include the plant species or cultivar, the location and under what conditions the plant is grown in and the weather extremes that occur during the plants period of dormancy.

Winter hardiness is an important factor to consider when choosing landscape plants.  Always plant cultivars that are hardy in your area.  Checking the plant description tag along with some investigative work on the internet will provide you with the proper hardiness zone and planting instructions for that particular plant.  Proper location, exposure, soil type, protection/screening and mulching are important things to keep in mind in care and maintenance.

The very cold winters of 2014 and 2015 points out the importance of considering hardiness zones when purchasing landscape plants.  There are some people of the gardening population that want what they can’t have and therefore have a tendency to purchase plants that are rated a zone warmer than what they live in.  These people are referred to as “zone pushers” (you know who you are)!  Many out of zone plants can and have survived our “mild” winters, however, the winters of 2014 and 2015 put an end to  many “zone pushers” dream plants.  Sticking to plants that are rated for your zone will reduce the potential for major disappointment in the future.

The USDA Hardiness Zone website has a “Find Your Zone” search that will identify your hardiness zone based on your zip code.  Go to www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

If winter damage does occur there are some things that can be done to prevent permanent damage.  Once the threat of a late spring freeze is over remove any dead or damaged branches. Also in the spring, spread a fertilizer, such as 10-6-4 on the ground under the drip-line so the rain can wash it into the roots.  Pay special attention to damaged plants throughout the growing season.  Water thoroughly during any dry periods.

As always, Happy Gardening!!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 In Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Nov 23

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

There is a lot of work that gardeners put into planting and caring for trees and shrubs in the landscape.  One of the most annoying things you can see in the spring is plants that have been gnawed by mice or chewed on by deer and rabbits.  It’s not too late to put into action a few things you can do this time of year to help protect plants from winter time feeding by animals.

Nutrients and water are shuttled through the plant in the bark, so when it is chewed off the plant suffers.  The more a trunk or branch is “girdled” (bark being removed) the less chance the plant has for survival.

Mice tend to live in tall grass or mulch around plants, so an easy fix would be to keep the mulch away from the trunk of a tree and to mow down the tall grass.  Mouse baits can be used but it is best to keep the bait contained in a small box with a 1 inch opening or an empty soda can so that larger animals and children cannot get to it.  Keep in mind that it is possible for pets to get sick or die from eating a bait-killed rodent.

Rabbits will walk on compacted snow and can do their damage up higher on the plant.  A sure sign of rabbit damage is to find their tracks and small, pea-sized droppings next to the trunk.  To protect your plants from them you can wrap the trunk with tree wrap, a plastic tree guard or make a cylinder of hardware cloth mesh.  If using a wire mesh it should extend beyond the trunk by about an inch all around and be about 18 to 24 inches above the snow level.  If possible affix the mesh to the ground with 6 inch wire ground staples.  To keep mice from digging under the screen before the ground is frozen, bury it a few inches into the soil.  Scattering dried bloodmeal or mothballs will discourage rabbits in a small garden area.

Mindful landscaping can help to reduce the number of rabbits in a given area.  Removing as much cover or hiding places as possible, like trimming the shrubs up from the ground and removing wood piles that consist of discarded limbs and such.

If you have many trees or shrubs to protect, there are taste and odor repellents that you can use too.  These repellents work by being sprayed on the tree or shrub.  This will have to be done again after a rain.  Soak some old rags in the repellent and hang them on the plants too.  Such smells work by interfering with the deer’s acute sense of smell and so of smelling potential danger nearby.  The down side to this is that if the rabbits or deer are hungry enough they will eat the bark anyway just to stay alive.

If all else fails you may have to resort to using fencing.  It is the most reliable deer control solution, but not always the most practical or aesthetically pleasing.  They are good jumpers and it is commonly recommended to use 8 foot high fencing to keep them out.  With individual  fruit trees or shrubs you can place stakes around them then wrap with mesh deer netting.

Wait until late spring to take any prune any questionable branches or plants.  Give trees and bushes some time to recover.  If no buds or green growth appear by early June, it is likely dead and can be removed.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects can be found online at www.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Nov 16

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

Mixed feelings abound this time of year for many of us gardeners as we look forward to a break from the work of pruning, watering and weeding, but are also sad to see the end of our beautiful flowers and fresh produce.  While cleaning up my garden yesterday some other fall “things to do” came to mind. Here are a few that may be on your “to do” list or may have slipped your mind.

CLEANING GARDEN TOOLS

When putting a tool away for the season, give it a good scrubbing with water then wipe on a light coating or spray on vegetable oil.  Sharpen hoes and cutting tools.

GARDEN HOSES AND SPRAYERS

Disconnect and drain garden hoses before they freeze solid during winter weather.  Roll up and store garden hoses on a sunny day.  It’s hard to get a cold hose to coil up into a tight loop.  Drain your sprayers or store them in  a building so the contents will not freeze.  If you don’t do this you will likely have more openings than what you want come spring.  Bring into a heated area any chemicals, especially liquids that are being stored in an unheated building.

LAWN MOWERS

Clean out the underside of your lawn mower.  Dead, moist grass contributes to rusty metal.  Once the deck is cleaned, give it a light coating of oil as you would your metal tools.

PLANT SPRING BULBS

Tulips and daffodils need to be planted soon if you have any.  After planting, mulch with an inch of two of organic material such as straw or bark chips to help retain ground warmth longer.  Bulbs can also be planted in pots and stored in a cool area for forcing in February.

MULCHING

Mulching is a must in order to protect perennial plants from freezing weather.  It can also prevent the freezing and thawing of soil that causes plants to lift or heave out of the ground.  The trick, however, is not to mulch too soon.  Mulching should be done after the ground starts to freeze but before the first significant snowfall of the season.  Like perennials, strawberries like a layer of mulch too.  Clean straw is better to use than hay which can add weed seeds to your patch.  Apply three to four inches after a hard frost.

OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS

You may like to stock up now on birdseed before the slick weather of winter sets in.  Avoid the inexpensive mixes that contain mostly filler with little nutrient value.  Woodpeckers love wire mesh tubes filled with raw, shelled peanuts, Blue Jays like corn, Goldfinches prefer niger seed  and most other birds get adequate nutrition from black-oil sunflower seeds.  Set out a heated bird bath, cleaning and replenishing the water regularly.

TREES

Protect tree trunks from rodents by wrapping them with hardware cloth or a split length of plastic drainage pipe.  Anchor with a ground staple to prevent access.  The above ground parts of evergreens are particularly susceptible to drying out over the winter through a process called transpiration.  After the ground freezes the plants roots are no longer able to take up water to replace that which is lost through the tops.  As a result the, needles, buds and twigs can dry out.  Give them an extra drink before freezing weather sets in.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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  • Nov 9

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener

Many people use the word bulb as a type of “blanket term” to include tubers, corms and rhizomes.  Botanically speaking, they are not all the same.  Actually the term “geophyte” refers to all of those different kinds of “bulbs”.

They are all underground storage units ready to come to life when the time is right.  The energy for the plant to grow and flower is produced by the photosynthesis of the leaves.  That is why it is important not to cut back the leaves after the plant is finished flowering.  Those leaves need to have time to produce and store that energy.

True bulbs are layered on the inside, much like an onion and most have a protective tunic layer covering the outside of the bulb.  They have a basal plate from which the roots emerge and are usually round or egg shaped with a pointed end from which the leaves emerge.

Daffodils form new bulbs around the original bulb.  These offsets develop from buds from within the base of the original bulb to produce new plants.  When these bulbs become overcrowded, their flower size decreases.  This is an indication that it is time to dig them up and divide them.  True bulbs include daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.

Corms are solid stem bases.  They are round and have a basal plate like a bulb, but are flatter in appearance.  When corms become exhausted, they use energy from the growing leaves and stem to create a new corm.  If you were to dig one up in the fall, you would find the spent corm, like a dried up prune, still clinging to the bottom of the new corm.  Gladiolus, freesia and crocus all grow from corms.

Rhizomes are swollen stems that grow horizontally, just under the surface of the soil and send up leaves and flowers at intervals.  Rhizomes include iris, lily of the valley and canna lily.

Tubers are thick underground stems.  They have no basal plate and some look like fat fingers, such as those found on dahlias and anemones.  Daylilies also grow from tubers but they are long and slender.  The potato is a tuber with leathery skin and numerous eyes which are the points from which plants grow.

Not all geophytes are hardy.  Those non-hardy or tender varieties, such as gladiolus, begonias and dahlias have to be lifted in the fall and stored in a cool area and replanted in the spring.

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects can be found online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs The Purdue university Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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