In the Garden: Storing summer bulbs

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Charlie, I don't think your gladiolas are blooming anymore.

I think it's done! But if you want to save your gladiolas, dahlias, and your canna lilies, you can. Just save all of those bulbs for next year, replant them and have even more. And save yourself a lot of money in the spring!

The thing to do this time of year is, obviously, to dig them up, even if they've been frosted down to the ground. Dig up those tubers and bulbs. Gladiolas corms are unique in that the old corm is on the bottom and the new one is on the top. This is all the old corm. What we want to save is just the new corm.

And what are these little things?

These are cormlets, little baby corms. We're going to take the cormlets and the old corm off. You can just break it off like this and take the roots off, as well. Then cut the top so it's only a few inches away from the corm. And that's what you are going to store all winter in a mesh bag.

So what about my dahlias, the same thing?

Dahlias and canna lilies are treated the same way, except the storage is a little bit different. Knock off all of the soil. You want to cure them for a week or two in a warm room and then store them in a cool basement or a garage. Somewhere where it won't freeze, but it won't get too warm.

Then, just check them through the winter. If they get a little shriveled, you might have to mist them a little bit to rehydrate them. If they get a little soft, they might be rotting. You might want to clean them up. In the spring, you can break off each one of these tubers. Each one of these little tubers will become a new plant so you'll have a ton of dahlias.