Caption: Gladioli packets from the supermarket
Caption: Gladioli in full bloom at RHS Malvern 2019 taken by Laura
Caption: Our newly hatched chicks
Caption: Bulb and Corm thieves
Glad for Gladioli, a VE day thank you.
If like me, you watch Gardeners' World each week, you might be feeling tempted to grow some Gladioli after watching Monty Don sing the virtues of summer bulbs and corms in the past few episodes. Having never grown them before I feel a little apprehensive; can such flamboyant flowers be easy to produce? I’ve managed to secure a few packets of left-over bulbs from a local supermarket and now need to swing into action.
Last week's VE Day anniversary has spurred me on to get those packets open and the corms planted. There’s something about the joyfulness of Gladioli that’s easy to associate with the post-war celebrations of VE day. My own Grandpa liked bulbs of every sort (the brighter, the better) and would certainly approve and it seems like a nice way to hold him in mind throughout this summer.
So with Dalefoot Bulb Compost to hand and some long-tom terracotta pots empty of their ‘gone-over’ tulips, I’m ready to plant. I just have to keep a watchful eye out for our chickens who like to steal bulbs and seeds when I’m sowing seeds or when my back’s turned.
As I understand it, Gladioli need to be planted once the danger of frost had finally passed (around about now). They need a decent depth of soil or compost, approximately 30cms, thus long-toms are ideal. Each corm needs to be planted 10 to 15 cms deep, then covered and compost pressed down. Ideally plant each corm about 10 cms apart. Give them a thorough watering and that’s it!
Finally, Gladioli like growing in full sun, so find that sunny spot and keep your fingers crossed for a burst of exuberance later in the season.