This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I call it a new method, because it seems to be such, or at least a method not generally known. It has been very kindly furnished me by a florist resident at Concord, N. H., who was induced to write me by seeing my "Talks About Flowers" in the Boston Journal. Believing it too valuable to be kept within private limits, I send it to the Gardener's Monthly.
The florist says the main point may be an old idea, but in a large range of horticultural reading he has never seen it mentioned, nor heard of its being used except in the instance he cites. His previous experience is, we believe, like that of many others. He says:
" I have grown tuberoses for the past ten years with varying success, but the main difficulty has been that so long a time has been required in rooting and stocking them, that the first frost finds a large proportion of them just budding, or not commenced to spindle. Had tried various places, hot-bed, furnace-room and hot-house, and all the early spring months and December, but that made no difference; they would not start until they got ready, and I lost many bulbs from rotting. Two years ago a friend who had had a similar experience, surprised me by showing me plants about the first of May with fine tops that had been planted but three weeks, and the first of June had stalks a foot high, while my bulbs, which had been planted the first of February, did not commence to sprout until June, although they had been in a hot-house under favorable conditions.
" Now the reason was simply this: He had taken his bulbs and not only pulled off all the small ones attached, but had dug out with a sharp knife all the small eyes, and had cut off the whole of the tuberous part, leaving only the bulb proper. This I tried on one-half my bulbs, with the result that they were nearly two months earlier than those planted the same time that I did not cut. Although this seems to be rather severe treatment of the bulb, it has given such good results that I propose to continue the practice".
Perhaps this article may open the way for others to testify on this point. My own experience is that of late blooming. Of the dozen I planted in the border in June, five were finely budded when taken up in September, and have since bloomed. Two others had just begun to spindle, and on one fine buds are developed; the others, with one exception, look as though they would not stalk. Next year we purpose to try this new method.