||Care & Maintenance
are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They do well in a wide
range of soil types - provided drainage is good, but they grow
best in soil with a pH of 6.7 to 7. Most garden soil that will
produce a good crop of vegetables or weeds will also grow good
glads with little or no added fertilizer. Glads prefer full
sunlight but will do reasonably well with a little high shade
in early morning or late afternoon.Good circulation is desirable,
so stay away from buildings or other obstructions, which might
Plow, rototill or spade your soil as you would for any other
garden plants, it is best to move your glad planting from one
area to another each year to help prevent disease carryover
in the soil. If soil tests or other reliable indicators points
to a lack of nutrients, a balanced commercial fertilizer such
as 5-10-10 may be incorporated into the soil immediately prior
to planting, at a rate of 2-3 pounds per 100 square feet. Avoid
over fertilizing. Composted animal manure or leaves should only
be worked into the soil in the fall.
first planting should be when you would normally plant sweet
corn in your area. Corms planted in cold soils are apt to rot
before they begin to grow. Subsequent plantings at two-week
intervals will ensure bloom over a long period of time. Plant
corms three to five inches deep and from four to six inches
apart. Insecticide spread in the trench before covering will
discourage underground insects. Before glads bloom, hilling
soil six inches up around the stalk helps prevent the glads
from tipping over during storms. Remember that glads need plenty
of water but will not tolerate wet feet. If drainage is a problem
in your soil, rows should be raised to facilitate the process.
by shallow cultivation and hand weeding. Avoid packing or heavy
caking of soil surface, which prevents soil aeration. If available,
a light mulch of straw, grass clippings, etc., between rows
will discourage weeds and help conserve moisture. Insect control
is important in growing glads. Pests include thrip, which is
by in far the most damaging. Thrip are tiny insects, tan to
black in color and less than 1/8" in length, can be controlled
by several good combination sprays and dusts, including organic
products, are available at your local Garden center. If you
chose organic products, more frequent applications will be needed.
you live where the ground does not freeze in the winter, you
may choose not to dig your corms; however, disease and crowding
may reduce the amount and quality of your bloom. You should
remove plant tops 6-8 weeks after bloom and remove them from
the garden to prevent the spread of disease. It is suggested
that you dig and divide your corms every couple of years, being
sure to discard any damaged or diseased corms. If you live where
the ground freezes, you will need to dig your corms each year
or if you chose not to dig, purchase new corms. Glad corms should
be lifted in the fall before the onset of ground freezing weather.
About 6-8 weeks after blooming, the corms may be harvested by
loosening the soil with a spade or digging fork so that the
plants can be pulled by hand. The plant should be separated
from the corm as close to the corm as possible, either by hand
breaking or cutting with pruning shears. You should remove the
old plant tops from the garden to prevent carry over of disease.
The corms should be cleaned or rinsed off with running water
and then spread out to dry in shallow layers in trays or porous
bags in an airy location that will not freeze, for a period
of from 2 to 3 weeks. This area must be above freezing temperatures.
During this time a cork layer forms between the new corm and
the old mother corm and roots. Break off and discard this old
corm as soon as possible. Delay in cleaning results in greater
difficulty in removal of the old corm.
cleaning, corms should be lightly dusted with a combination
fungicide/insecticide dust, placed in shallow trays, mesh bags
or open paper bags to be stored for the winter. Do not use any
covering material. A well-ventilated root cellar is ideal but
any room with good air circulation in the average home basement
will suffice, if temperatures an be kept between 38-58 degrees.
The lower temperature is best.