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Plant Bulbs Now For Spring Blooming
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore

email: moorelandscaping@sympatico.ca

Jennifer Moore is the owner and operator of Moore Landscaping based in Elora, Ontario. Jennifer is a talented writer and landscape designer providing unique landscaping services.

Her website can be reached here...

http://www3.sympatico.ca/moorelandscaping


September 19, 1999

Now is the time to get your garden ready for fall, and instead of dreading the task, think about the glorious spring blooms to be had. Garden centres are supplied with spring flowering bulbs of daffodils, hyacinths, narcissus, tulips and crocus, but let's not stop there. Unusual bulbs that can brighten any area of the garden can be purchased as well, with only a few including, various allium, fall blooming crocus, species tulips and fritillaria.

When purchasing bulbs, look for the largest and most firm ones for their species. Small bulbs may not produce a flower in its first year being planted and soft bulbs may not produce at all. All bulbs should be planted with their tips facing up, flat side of the bulb facing to the outside of the hole, planted 3 times as deep as they are tall and at least double their width apart. If in doubt to which side is up, plant the bulb on it's side and it will correct itself when it grows.

Remember too, when planting your bulbs in your garden, to plant them in sweeping drifts or in clumps of odd numbers, this ensures they don't look like soldiers standing to attention when they are in bloom.

Bulbs have everything they need inside themselves and need very little help from us. A granular, all-purpose fertilizer, such as 20-20-20 can be scratched into the top of the soil, but it really isn't necessary.

To keep the squirrels, chipmunks and moles away, add human hair from your hairdresser or bloodmeal to the planting hole when planting. They don't like the human smell or the dried blood and tend to stay away. Daffodils are poisonous to them as well, so if you have a problem with them, daffodils may be the bulb to choose. If your bulbs don't seem to be in the right spot the first year, let their leaves die down naturally, dig them up and replant them. They will reward you again the following year with their flowers.

Bulbs do need to be dug up and spaced out every 3 - 5 years or they tend to get crowed and will stop blooming. Varieties good for naturalizing are available as well, therefore eliminating the need to dig and replant. They will be labelled as such or ask your garden centre expert.

Another interesting plant is the Foxtail Lily, and it too should be planted in the fall. It is grown from very thick and fleshy roots, grows 3 - 5 feet tall with bright yellow long spikes. The leaves remain at the base and are grey-green and narrow. For the indoor gardener, forcing bulbs for your table can be just as easy, just remember to purchase bulbs that are marked "for forcing". If you are not sure if they have already received a cold treatment, place them into your refrigerator for 6-10 weeks before planting in your container.

Bulbs that are used for forcing indoors cannot be forced two years in succession. After you enjoy your forced bulbs one year, plant them into your garden to bloom the following year. Once they have bloomed in your garden, then dig them up and force them again for indoors. This process can be done over and over, just remember to keep the greenery growing as long as possible to feed the bulb for the next year.

Another popular bulb planted for indoors is the Amaryllis, with it's large strap-like leaves and huge trumpet-shaped blossoms borne on tall stems. These are usually seen available around Christmas and Easter, but once you have a bulb it can last for many years. The varieties of bulbs available are astounding; many colours, heights and styles to choose from and suitable for every spot in your garden. Try some!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Refer back to photos taken during the spring blooming time to see where more colour is needed in the garden. This is an easy reference to go by and will reduce the chance of digging too close to already planted bulbs.

Jennifer Moore

Email: vj.moore@sympatico.ca

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