Soil and Compost forum: Dying bulb foliage

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 12:28 PM CST
Does dying spring bulb foliage qualify as a green or as a brown in composting? I have lots of little bulb and daffodil foliage that will be flopping over soon and I plan on leaving it where it lies. It's usually still green when it flops over.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 15, 2015 1:03 PM CST
If it is still green it counts as a "green" if it is dead and dried it counts as a "brown". If you were mixing greens and browns in a compost pile, of course if you plan on"leaving it where it lies", it is sort of a mute point.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 1:28 PM CST
I mulch with shredded oak leaves and they do compost in place a little. Sometimes I sprinkle the leaves with spent coffee grounds or worm compost to help the composting process. Nice to get free "greens".
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Apr 15, 2015 1:47 PM CST
I would not cover bulb foliage with mulch until it has turned yellow and pulls away easily. While green it is photosynthesizing and making "food" to store to get it through until next year. How much it might still be photosynthesizing after flopping over I'm not sure, but safer to leave it exposed to light if still green IMHO. A common recommendation is to give them at least six weeks after flowering before messing with the foliage in any way.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 15, 2015 4:23 PM CST
I wouldn't bend over the bulb foliage. The foliage on the little bulbs tends to turn yellow quicker than the daffodils. Most mulching won't take place until May anyway.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Apr 15, 2015 5:27 PM CST
OK, sorry, I misunderstood. When you said it was still green when it flopped over, would be flopping over soon, and also mentioned composting, I thought you were sheet composting over the top of it while it was green.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 16, 2015 8:41 AM CST
Because I have established garden beds, I try to sheet compost around existing plants when I have enough materials. I generally do this in areas where I want to improve the soil. Other beds generally just get shredded leaves which will stay in place until next spring. Daffs are blooming now so I'm guessing the foliage will start falling over or yellowing in another month - just about the time I start planting a few annual things and adding the mulch.

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