Am I doing something wrong??? - Knowledgebase Question

Glen Burnie, Ma
Question by mymistye
May 24, 2010
I thought my job was done when I saw my bulbs coming
my bulbs stalking up from the ground.Now my peony and other flowering prennials are not blooming
I was told I need to fertilze them.I guess my soil does not contain enough food to keep the plants happy...I'm sad

Answer from NGA
May 24, 2010


Fertilizing can help but there's really no substitute for rich garden soil. It's difficult to amend soil once you've planted your bulbs and peonies so you might want to seriously consider digging your bulbs and peonies late this summer or early this fall, amending the soil, and then replanting everything. They will settle in over the fall and winter months and be ready to grow for you next spring. Here's how to improve your soil: Start by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Replant your bulbs and peonies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season next fall dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Add fresh mulch annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular garden full of colorful plants. Enjoy!

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