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Grow with KARE: Starting summer bulbs

For all these summer bulbs, place the pots in a warm location keeping the soil moist but not wet. Transplant outdoors when the weather warms.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Summer bulbs are one of those things that a little work now will pay off big time later. 

It’s not too late to get summer bulbs started indoors for a head start on the blooms you’ll see when the weather warms. Starting them early will give you a longer bloom season to enjoy.

Good bulbs are firm without any soft or mushy spots, but they shouldn’t be shriveled either.  

For begonia tubers, a flat tray works well to start. The concave or dented side is the top. The rounded side is the bottom. Nestle them into the soil. Once they sprout, plant the begonias covering the tuber with an inch or so of soil.

For dahlias, you’ll need a deeper pot. The tuber should be almost but not totally covered with a well-draining potting soil. Leave the crown exposed. 

Elephant’s ear, caladium and calla lilies should each be covered by 1 to 2 inches of soil in a deep pot. 

Canna rhizomes should be a bit deeper with 3 to 4 inches of soil covering them. 

For all these summer bulbs, place the pots in a warm location keeping the soil moist but not wet. Transplant outdoors when the weather warms.  

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