planning for lots of color in garden all summer - Knowledgebase Question

Brooklyn, NY
Question by loisgetz
April 13, 2007
When the bulbs are finished..I want other flowers in their place..Also, think I should turn over soil occasionally....how do I do these things when bulbs are in the ground..


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Answer from NGA
April 13, 2007

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When bulbs are in the ground you are not able to dig and turn the soil. Instead you must rely on topdressing with compost periodically and on using an organic mulch year round. The mulch and compost help feed the soil on an ongoing basis as they break down over time.

Depending on how closely planted your bulbs are, you may be able to plant annuals in between them. Or, you could plant annuals and perennials in front of the bulbs. This would also help hide the bulb foliage as it grows and matures and then dries out naturally, which it must do to replenish the bulbs' strength so they can bloom again next year.

For nonstop color, annuals are the better choice. Marigolds, zinnias, petunias, salvia for example will bloom all summer through frost. Perennials will each bloom for a few weeks at most so you would need a careful selection to offer color all season.

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