Saturday, January 15, 2011

January Bloom Day--Maybe?

Looking good...

...not quite as good...

...not very good at all.

As you can see, I don't really have anything blooming this January, but perhaps I will soon if these hyacinths cooperate.

I'm not feeling too confident for a few reasons. First, I crammed a lot of bulbs into these pots. I mean, really, did I stick five hyacinths into this tiny container? Why did I think that was a good idea?!

Second, I took them out of the garage after about 10 and half weeks when they were showing some decent root growth. But top growth has been slow, especially in the biggest pot. Should I have waited?

Lastly, they're being overrun by gnats. Yesterday I sprinkled a systemic in the pots, which should get rid of the gnats in the next week or so as I water. Not only are they annoying now (and the systemic rather stinky), but it doesn't bode well for seed-starting conditions around here in about six weeks.

So this is kind of a Bloom Day post, kind of a cry for help. Do these have a chance? Do you have recommendations about how to get rid of gnats? Would you rather see things actually blooming? If so, visit Carol at May Dreams Garden, the mastermind behind Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!


Darla said...

I do hope they bloom for you. I have been spraying weak chamomile tea to kill my gnats, works pretty good and it smells nice :).

CurtissAnn said...

Oh, anticipation! Love seeing them!

rambleonrose said...

Thank you Darla! That is an excellent tip!

CA--I know! Forcing hyacinths was so fun last year I really, really can't wait (hence my concern)!

Anonymous said...

Spraying is the way to go. Even dish soap/oil/water mix, but the tea idea is a good one.

I am forcing bulbs too. Next month I hope to see them. Good luck and Happy Bloom Day.

garden girl said...

If I close my eyes you can almost smell those hyacinth blooms Rose!

I had lots of fungus gnat problems when I first started overwintering tender plants. They only breed in the top inch or two or soil, and need moist soil for breeding.

Whatever remedies you use, you'll prevent them coming back if you neglect your plants a little - let the top inch or two of soil dry out between waterings and the gnats will stop reproducing. Also, check the quality of your soil - potting soil degrades over time, and broken-down soil will also lead to fungus gnats. They LOVE decaying matter.

I have a worm bin in the basement. I almost put it outside to freeze because of the terrible fungus gnat problems. Then I tried putting about three inches of dry potting soil on top of the compost. I have to push the soil aside to add to the bin, but no more gnats!

Letting the top couple of inches of soil dry out between watering is really key to preventing, and curing fungus gnat problems. If it works for worm bins, which are terrible gnat magnets, it'll work for potted plants.

The Whimsical Gardener said...

I was overrun with gnats recently too - Darla, I will try your tip. Maybe next month for the blooms?! Happy GBBD!

rambleonrose said...

GWGT--Thank you! I like the dish soap/oil spray as a fungicide in the outdoor garden. Maybe it would work on potting soil too!

GG--Thank you so much for the advice! I definitely need to let the soil dry out. Overwatering is one of my most common mistakes, and I know it's the root cause of this gnat problem (no pun intended). The potting soil is pretty old too. I never knew that could be an issue! I'm doing my best to neglect them and then let the systemic do its work when it is time to water again. Thanks again!!

Birdwoman said...

I've never tried forcing bulbs, but yours look healthy. I'll bet they come along and do well for you. As for the gnats, I don't have a suggestion but I think the ones other commenters have given sound good. I might even try them on the plants under my grow lights in the garage where gnats are beginning to be a problem.

Gail said...

Rose, I have a few violas and not much else! Pretty soon your house will be filled with delightful fragrance and pretty flowers! Happy Bloom Day gail ps good info on the gnats

Rose said...

You are way ahead of me, Rose--I just set some hyacinth bulbs in vases last week, so it will be awhile before I have anything blooming, if at all. The buds forming on yours look encouraging--I'm sure you'll get some blooms very soon.I've been having a problem with gnats, too. I'm going to try Darla's and Linda's solutions--anything to get rid of these pests!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That looks so promising. Chamomile tea sounds like a safer way to battle the gnats than my attempt to sterile the potting soil. LOL. I wonder how my hyacinths are doing. They're out in the garage still, and I can't bring them in because I'm lame. Must remember to have someone bring them in.

rambleonrose said...

BW--Forcing bulbs is way more fun than I anticipated. You should try it!

Gail--Thank you, and I can't wait for the fragrance!

Rose--It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one struggling with these stupid gnats! I'm glad this turned into a forum for such good advice! It's been helping me tremendously over the last week!

MMD--That's a bummer! Get one of the kids to help you!!

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