gladiola storage?

Greetings all:
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, my Halifax location is zone 6a. I am a beginner gardener.
Anyhoo, last year I was advised to dig up my gladiola bulbs before the Atlantic Canadian winter came in and froze them all to death. Fair enough. Thinking myself very clever, I dug them up in the late summer/early fall, left them out to dry for a bit, then put them in plastic containers full of sand. My theory was that the sand would absorb any moisture in them.
Bad idea. With a beautiful spring day today, I got thinking about planting, and then got the bright idea to bring them out of the basement today. All three of the three containers have damp sand, rotten bulbs, and two of them contain about a gazillion of what look like aphids.
Obviously I've done something wrong, likely several somethings. Most of my glad bulbs are now toast. Then I went and opened the stargazer lily bulbs that I purchased a month or two ago and found some moldy bulbs among the good.
Needless to say, I'm pretty discouraged. Obviously my storage methods need help (although the stargazers might have been bad in the first place, hadn't opened the package until today). Fortunately my peony roots in the same closet still seem OK.
Any advice out there?
Thanks,
KD
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KD wrote:

Don't take posession of the bulbs until you can plant them. Over your bulbs/corms in peat moss or dry sawdust and don't seal them up in plastic containers. Let them breathe. Keep them cool and in the dark over the winter.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Bulb digging- as soon the root "hair" loses it's white colour and become dark. At the same time chicken also start to darken. Also at the same time leaves are strongly green. But this must not trick you - the bulbs must go out. Earlier sorts sooner become mature- also remember that. If you do it later, the number of sick bulbs increase, leaves are soft and is harder to dig them out, and chickens more stay in the ground. After you dig them out break the leaf cover near bulb top, or if you cut it leave about 1 cm above bulb. Bulbs has to be stored immediately, closed room is needed with good ventilation, it's needed that the whole amount of air in a room is replaced at least 20 times per hour. Humidity of air - 70-80%, temperature 28-32 degrees of celsius. It this isn't done, it's possible that all bulbs could die from Fusarium in a few days. After 8 days of drying on temp28-32, bulbs are ready for cleaning- all with some degeneration - out(diseases), also mechanical injuries-out. Usually is used woden box of size 75-50-10, bottom is of wire coated with zinc, do not overload it, bulbs need air, of course in a dark. Bulbs big (hen), and small ones (chickens) need to be stored in a place with temperature 5-10 degrees of celsius constant, if it is higher new bulbs (chickens) could dry out and die. But 3-4 weeks before planting temperature has to be risen to 20 degrees of celsius. Chickens has to be keeped twice by 24 hours in lukewarm-tepid water. Immedeately before planting it's needed to disinfect the bulbs (in 2%solution of benlate, and 0.2% solution of fosfern). E. has spoken.
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This is correct.
In the fall, when they are dug up, leave corms with intact greenery out on newspaper in your basement for a few weeks.
Then, pick a warm sunny fall day and take them outside to shake off soil. Set aside the cormels (little white babies) and cut off the corm greens with clean knife or scissors. Do not wash the corms. Store in a loose net bag in your basement for the winter. They need cool dry darkness for storage. Sand or dry peat is not required.
Cormels can be planted after Christmas if you wish to increase your corm collection. Start them in damp seed trays in bright indirect light, they will take 8-12 weeks to sprout at which time you can increase the watering. Plant outside as soon as frost danger has passed, in the same manner as the corms. The cormel sprouts can be planted in nusery containers. Look after them over the season, and in the fall repeat the process, harvesting the larger daughter corms, which next year, should be large enough to generate flowers.
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