June 22, 2008

Categories: Diseases and Pests, Fungus, Nematode, Soil, Virus

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Hello everyone,
Some brief responses to recent daffnet discussion.
Nematode: I understood that nematodes were species specific. Before I export bulbs to the USA my soil has to be declared free of potato cyst nematode. In soil testing some clover nematodes have been found which are not considered a harmful pest. We have been told that overplanting with tagetes ( I forget the specific cultivar) will clear the soil of bulb nematodes.
Virus: I understand that virus cannot be killed. Dig and destroy is the answer.
Acclimatising bulbs: Many of us have experience of bringing bulbs cross hemisphere. What works in California is obviously different to what happens in Minnesota or Wellington. My suggestion is that if you are importing bulbs discuss turning them around with an experienced grower in your climate. For me, I plant the bulbs fairly soon after arrival in 5 litre  pots and place them in the coolest, most shady part of the garden. Most flower in Feb – Mar then die down ready for planting out late autumn. Last year most of them did not grow at all- probably too dry. When I went to plant out this year they had all started new growth in accordance with our seasons.
Disclaimer: My suggestion about sun drying bulbs was greeted with some skepticism. I am glad that the theory has helped some people. The key is that the ultraviolet from the sun kills fungus, thus chemical free.
In February I confessed to cooking some bulbs in the sun. Hopefully I have made it clear that time out in the sun depends on the temperature on the day. In cool weather the bulbs are sometimes out for 2 or 3 days. When the temperature gets into the thirties I basically dig and bag within a couple of hours.
David Adams
Snow due tomorrow.

One response to “Various”

  1. Peter and Lesley Ramsay says:

    Helllo All,


    Just a quick response to Bob’s comments on the bulbs he brought to New Zealand .  The ones he left with Max were not planted for some time as Max had a heart attack and was hospitalized for surgery.  One of his family members passed the bulbs onto me and they were as Bob pointed out soft and rubbery.  There were a few that seemed OK which I planted.  They did not grow.  Later in discussion with Max I found out that the MAFF people had treated them with methyl bromide.  Obviously they got an overdose!  We have many problems with the Quarantine people here – this is just one instance of an ongoing saga.  Getting bulbs into NZ is becoming a major problem – it’s a bit of a lottery, some come straight in with no problems, others are held up for a range of reasons.  If a speck of mould is spotted it costs a small fortune to have it identified and another small fortune to have it treated.  (It’s usually penicillin but they wouldn’t know that!)  All very frustrating.


    All the best to everyone,




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