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How to Thin Out Bulbs
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Wherever you have planted bulbs in your garden, after a few years you may find that they stop producing flowers as freely as they did. This is usually due to overcrowding, which you won't be able to see, unless it's a bulb that is planted close to the surface of the soil (Nerine). Most bulbs are lifted and thinned or transplanted when they are dormant, but some resent drying out and prefer to be lifted when they are still in leaf - or in the green. These types include: Wood Anemone (Anemone Nemerosa), Hardy Cyclamen, Winter Aconite (Eranthis), Snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis), Bluebell (Hyacinthoides), Snowflake (Leucojum). Lifting and thinning bulbs means you can increase colonies and improve flowering next year. These other Workshops might also be helpful: How to store bulbs; How to plant a bulb in earth; How to plant a bulb in grass.
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you will need
A fork; a spade; wheelbarrow or bucket; surface to work at. Optional: thin gardening gloves; bonemeal; labels to mark which type of bulbs you have planted where.
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step1
Lift bulbs from the group above just after they finish flowering. For all other bulbs, lift when their leaves start to yellow. Use a garden fork to lift the clumps, taking care not to damage the outer bulbs.
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step2
At a work bench or table, work on each clump, dividing them by hand, first into smaller clumps, then into individual bulbs.
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step3
Remove dead or diseased material from around the bulbs, and discard any which look unhealthy. Clean the good bulbs ready for replanting, removing loose skins. Put each to one side - aim to replant as soon as possible. If there will be a delay, place the bulbs on a wire rack overnight. See Workshop: How to store bulbs.
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step4
Replant the bulbs as they were originally, in soil or in grass. Either plant them singly, or in small groups of 5 - 7 bulbs in one hole that is wide enough for them to spread their roots - leave a bulbs space between each. Plant bulbs at the same depth that they were before being lifted. Put a small amount of bonemeal into planting holes. Firm the soil around them and water in.
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Dig up clump of bulbs after flowering
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Select only healthy bulbs and clean them off
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Replant the indvidual bulbs

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Other Sowing and Growing Articles
   Annuals/perennials from seed        Chrysanthemums & dahlias
   Collecting seed        Dividing rhizomes like Irises
   Growing from seed indoors        Growing bulbs indoors
   Growing peas and beans        Growing salads
   Growing tomatoes        Growing winter vegetables
   Growing/pruning raspberries        Lifting and storing corms
   Making a bog garden        Making a herb garden
   Making a lawn by laying turf        Organic first steps
   Organic vegetable garden        Planning a vegetable patch
   Planting a lily bulb        Propagation by layering
   Semi-ripe/hardwood cuttings        Sowing a lawn with grass seed
   Sowing a wildflower meadow        Sowing veg seed outdoors
   Storing bulbs        Taking a softwood cutting
   Thinning out bulbs        Thinning out seedlings
   Winter care for half-hardies    
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