Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


April, 2006
Regional Report

Plant Leftover Spring Bulbs

"Yikes! If the bulb still has weight, plant it as soon as the ground can be worked; hopefully it will grow," says Becky Heath of Brent and Becky's Bulbs, Gloucester, VA. "If they bloom, they'll bloom MUCH later and on MUCH shorter stems. If all is well with the site, they should get themselves straight before next spring. If there isn't weight, the bulb has probably shriveled and died. They just are not engineered to stay out of the ground for this long, bless their hearts!"

Leave Spring Bulb Foliage

Though we may not like the floppy leaves, allow daffodil and other spring bulb foliage to yellow and die in its own time. While leaves are green, they photosynthesize, producing food that gives the bulb energy to form next year's flowers. Removing the green leaves this spring will mean no blooms next spring!

Planting Summer-Blooming Bulbs

The sky's the limit for summer bulbs in our area, so plant whatever works with your color choices. Just be sure you're giving it the right spot (sun/shade, wet/dry, etc.). Plant Liliums as soon as the ground can be worked (about the same time you plant English peas). Plant less hardy summer bloomers, such as glads and dahlias, after danger of frost.

Plant Bulbs in Containers

Consider planting non-hardy summer bulbs -- caladiums, agapanthus, tuberose, alstromeria, arisema, cannas -- in containers to enjoy all summer. Come fall, bring in the containers to store in a non-freezing garage or basement.

Fertilize and Topdress with Compost

After planting hardy and non-hardy summer bulbs, topdress with a slow-release fertilizer (5-10-20 is a good choice) to provide nutrients for the summer flowers. Also sprinkle compost on top of the soil.


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