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Author Topic: Crocus in the garden June 2010  (Read 3656 times)

wooden shoe

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Crocus in the garden June 2010
« on: June 05, 2010, 09:48:19 PM »
Today I have relocated some Crocus laevigatus fontenayi to bring them to a somewhat dryer place.
 I found out that they have been multiplying well. I started in September 2008 with 10 flowering size corms and ended up after 2 growing seasons with 40+ corms. But none of them are flowering size, they are all somewhere in between. Should I be glad with this result and accept that this winter I will get no flowers, but next year probably 40+ or should I threat them differently so I should get less split-ups but more flowers?
 
 Rob
Rob - central Nederland Zone 7b

Thomas Huber

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 03:18:42 PM »
Rob, Crocus laevigatus flowers from small corms, so I wouldn't be surprised if you would get flowers next autumn.
In every case I would split and try them in other parts of the garden. Always add some fertiliser into the planting hole
and try to plant them somewhat deeper than the standard 5cms (8-10cm) which helps to built up bigger corms in the
next season and avoids the forming of tiny bulbills.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 09:40:07 PM by Maggi Young »
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

Lesley Cox

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 10:15:10 PM »
I'll follow your advice too Thomas, as I have masses of very small corms, but very few flowers. It is more winter flowerinfg for me, than autumn.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

wooden shoe

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 06:51:00 PM »
Thank you Thomas, I will replant them deeper, dryer and with some fresh fertilizer.

As I was emptying the part of the garden I dug up some more.
- I had a label saying that I planted 5 bulbs of Crocus imperati 'De Jager' at sept 2008, but I dug up about 50 large corms. That would be a huge increase, but I'm afraid a label saying Crocus sativus has disappeared... So which is wat? Is the one on the left the C. imperati and the one on the right with the plume indeed Crocus sativus?
- And then I dug up some Crocus which were sold to me as Crocus serotinus salzmannii. But both the flowers and the corms look like C. speciosus to me. Also nice though and they were cheap anyway.
- And last question, what's the trick to get C. sativus to bloom? Growing is fine but blooming is very limited each year.
Are there any croconuts who could answer my questions now they are driven from their garden by the rain :)

Rob - central Nederland Zone 7b

gote

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 07:17:16 PM »
I just  tried to dig all selfsown speciosus in a place that I intend to renovate. Soil is very sandy and the location reasonably sunny. Water table is probably 4m deep. I probably got out at least half of them  ;) Most of them still have leaves - otherwise it would be impossible to find them.
I noted the following:
Most corms - even the tiny 2mm ones were sitting approximately 15 cm deep. This is the depth they site themselves at  - not the 3-4 times the corm dimension advocated by books.
Some had immature seed pods sitting just under the surface. Obviously they need the leaves to form seeds but when do the pods emerge and open?? When the leaves die down?? If so the seed emerge when the season is over.
Cheers
Göte.
PS
These are a strain that has developed here from corms planted perhaps eighty years ago. It is much earlier than the commercially available strains. It obviously has adapted to our earlier winters. 
   
Göte Svanholm
Mid-Sweden

Lesley Cox

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 09:53:25 PM »
According to someone - could have been Thomas himself - but confirmed by a local commercial grower of saffron, C. sativus should be planted deep (to 15cms at least) and heavily fertilized. My local friend uses well rotted cattle manure garnered from an old haystack where cattle first ate the hay then used the stack bottom to spend chilly nights, doing what cattle tend to do, when standing around. She digs in the manure with each new planting and piles it on top when the corms are dormant. I can't think of any other self-respecting crocus that would tolerate that treatment.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Thomas Huber

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 01:46:30 PM »
Rob, the plants you bought as salzmannii are clearly speciosus - this mix-up is known for many years
from Dutch stocks and nobody seems to care about that deception  >:(

Both corms you show seem correctly labelled, but an increase from 5 to 50 in two years would be a lot
for C. imperati in my eyes - do you have a photo of the flowers?

Regarding C. sativus flowering Lesley has already given the best reply, I only have to add, that the
depth of planting can be increased up to 30 cm and more. Planted so deep they corms will have a longer
growing season which gives larger corms and better flowering.


Göte, I have never noticed C. speciosus growing so deep in my garden - perhaps this is also a result of your
cold winters? And also my seed pods are always growing up to 10cm out of the soil - never in the soil. But
this species is always the last one with ripening their seeds (found the first some days ago in my garden),
so perhaps yours will follow in the next weeks.
Any news from the crocus I've sent you? Are they still alive?
Thomas Huber, Neustadt - Germany (230m)

gote

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 06:34:09 PM »

Göte, I have never noticed C. speciosus growing so deep in my garden - perhaps this is also a result of your
cold winters? And also my seed pods are always growing up to 10cm out of the soil - never in the soil. But
this species is always the last one with ripening their seeds (found the first some days ago in my garden),
so perhaps yours will follow in the next weeks.
Any news from the crocus I've sent you? Are they still alive?

Could be that the depth is an adaption to the climate just as the early flowering is.
I suppose that the seed pods were on their way up I had to dig when there still was leaf to follow down.
I have not checked the state of the bulbs you sent me. I will do so later The following is guesswork.
goulimyi - Probably dead,
cancellatus - Probably dead,
speciosus Aichisonii probably OK
pulchellus Zephyr Probably OK This is the one that is most sucessful - probably because it is so early.
gomulyii from Jans Ruksans might have survived it seems slightly better adapted to my climate but the hope is small.
Cheers
Göte
Göte Svanholm
Mid-Sweden

wooden shoe

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 09:21:01 PM »
Yes Thomas, an increase from 5 to 50 in two seasons was indeed far more than to be expected of C. imperati. After selection of al the dug up corms it were indeed 4 flowering size corms and 2 small ones of C. imperati and the rest were C. sativus. So a status quo instead of an enormous increase. So the mistery is solved now, but I attach a photo anyway, just for the enjoyment of it.
Anyway I have now plenty of corms of C. sativus to experiment with and dig them deep in the ground and give them loads of manure. Turning dung into saffron  :).
But thanks for the confirmation of the identification and I' m surprised with the depth Crocus can be planted. The Dutch climate is less harsh than Gote's but it's clear I can put them deep underground.
Rob - central Nederland Zone 7b

wooden shoe

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2010, 11:10:40 AM »
I have divided the excess C. sativus in 2 equal groups and planted 1 group at 15 cm and the other at 28 cm depth.  I added the same amount of fertiliser and they are planted side by side in sandy soil on a sunny spot under a mini peach tree . So the experiment can begin. It will probably take 2 growing seasons before a trustable verdict can be given, but I will keep keep you informed. My first findings were that the soil was still a bit moist at 15 cm, but pretty dry at 28 cm. There were also roots growing at 28 cm, if I wanted to dig any deeper I had too damage those to much. Next update on this experiment will probably be in October.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 11:22:00 AM by wooden shoe »
Rob - central Nederland Zone 7b

Maggi Young

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2010, 11:21:25 AM »
It will be interesting to follow your experiment, Rob,  because  so many folks are keen to discover the "secret" to success with Crocus sativus  :)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2010, 03:38:50 PM »
  One of my friend said me that He has tried 60 cm depht with pallasii corms and He attained corms like apple size. But He has put the soil on gradually by the leaves going up!.

TheOnionMan

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2010, 04:10:35 PM »
It will be interesting to follow your experiment, Rob,  because  so many folks are keen to discover the "secret" to success with Crocus sativus  :)

My planting of C. sativus took a while to settle in and bulk up, but they've been flowering quite well the last couple years. The foliage in spring is so thick that I'm thinking I must divide them up.  All my crocus get planted fairly deep (6-8", or 15-20 cm), same with C. sativus, but not as deep as suggested in this thread.  I use no fertilizers (or chemicals for that matter) on my gardens whatsoever.  The soil is a heavy silty-rocky-clay that was amended with sand and some decomposed pine bark mulch.  Sorry, don't really know what the secret is, just haven't had much difficulty getting this fine crocus species to flower and increase.

The next to last photo shows one of my "shrub rings" in winter (underplanted with crocus, iris, tulipa, fritillaria, etc) that always seem to melt away the snow quicker than the surrounding snow areas over lawn, the winter-evergreen foliage of C. sativus visible.  The last photo shows C. sativus foliage encased in ice after the infamously destructive ice storm of December 2008.
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com

Lesley Cox

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 12:25:04 AM »
Next update on this experiment will probably be in October.

Looking forward to it. :D
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Lesley Cox

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Re: Crocus in the garden June 2010
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2010, 12:27:47 AM »
  One of my friend said me that He has tried 60 cm depht with pallasii corms and He attained corms like apple size. But He has put the soil on gradually by the leaves going up!.


Like building up the ridges over potatoes? Could we get potatoes much bigger then, just by keeping burying them? I find it impossible to buy a decent potato nowadays for baking and stuffing. They are all too small and also too uniform when I buy a 10kg bag. No variation in size for different purposes.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

 


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