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Crocuses: planting and caring in the open field require specific knowledge so that this fragile and delicate flower takes root in the soil and delights the eyes of its owners with its colorful petals. Another name for the plant is saffron, and most gardeners believe that it blooms exclusively in springtime. However, breeders have long brought out special varieties of crocuses that can bloom in the fall.
Selection of planting material and site for planting
Saffron trees are common to almost all of Eurasia and feel good in temperate climates. But, before turning to the issue of planting and caring for crocuses in the open field, you need to choose healthy plant bulbs and select the right place for planting flowers in your garden.
How to choose viable saffron bulbs:
- Under the right storage conditions, planting material will not have extra growth and sprouted roots.
- Healthy bulbs are quite heavy and dense. If, in contact with a part of the plant, their lethargy and friability are felt, they are unlikely to grow.
- Dark spots on the surface of a crocus bulb indicate that they are affected by rot.
- If the planting material has any mechanical damage, it is also better to refuse it.
Even healthy parts of future flowers require pretreatment before planting. It is necessary to peel off the old skin from the bulbs and disinfect them by sprinkling with ashes or keeping them in a solution of manganese.
Planting and caring for crocuses in the open field should take place in spacious flowerbeds( flowers are able to occupy the whole area in a short time).They should be located in an open area where there is plenty of sunshine. Therefore, it is not recommended to plant saffron under the trees with a thick crown.
The soil for crocuses of all subspecies should not be excessively wet. The soil structure should be loose, nutritious, light and not acidic. Do not be afraid if the land in the garden does not meet these requirements, it can be made suitable for saffron using simple methods. Large river sand, gravel or crushed stone, which is used as a drainage layer, will help to get rid of excessive dampness. The acidity of the soil neutralizes the mixture of peat and lime, ash or rotted manure.
Planting time crocuses in the garden
When planting crocuses in the open field? It all depends on the type of plant that the gardener has chosen, but all of them are divided into flowers that bloom in spring or autumn.
Spring-flowering plants include: Spring Crocus
- - bred as a decorative flower from the 16th century, it grows up to 17 cm in height, it is purple or white;
- two-flowered crocus is the most variegated variety of saffron blooming in spring;
- golden crocus - the name speaks for itself: the petals of this saffron have yellow buds of different shades, the plant reaches up to 20 cm in height.
As these subspecies of ornamental flora bloom in the spring, crocuses are planted in open ground in the fall. They should be planted from late September to early October.
If you plant spring-flowering varieties before the second half of September, the saffron may bloom by the frost period and eventually die. And if you plant a flower later than the first half of October, the soil for the bulbs will be too cold, they will not be able to take root in it and simply freeze.
Autumnal flowering subspecies of saffron include:
- crocus is beautiful - a fairly large plant up to 30 cm high, the buds are white, blue and lilac;
- cute crocus - frost resistant subspecies;
- Crocus Banat - has lilac buds and unusual silver leaves.
The flowers bloom in the garden in autumn, and therefore crocuses are planted in the ground in spring( late May) or early summer( first half of July).
How to care for saffron?
Saffron is not a flower that needs abundant watering. If autumn or spring( depending on what kind of flower is planted) were rich in rainfall, then they should be watered only when the soil becomes dry not only on the surface, but also in depth. Otherwise, plants can simply rot.
Crocus care in the open field is easy enough. Periodically it will be necessary to weed flower rows, getting rid of weeds. The soil( especially after rain) needs to be loosened so that the root system of the plants has access to the air.
Like any decorative flowers, crocuses need feeding. However, fertilizing saffron with organic mixtures is not recommended. It is better to purchase granulated mineral dressing enriched with potassium and phosphorus. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers should be applied with caution, in small doses, because they can provoke the growth of fungi on the bulbs of the plant.
Top dressing should be made in at least 2 stages: first, fertilize the soil before planting crocuses, and then during the period of their enhanced growth.
Below are photos of crocuses in the open field: