Bulbs

1. Q. How can I go about planting annual flowers in a bed of spring flowering bulbs without injuring or removing the bulbs?

A. There should be no problem planting annuals over bulbs if the bulbs were originally planted as deeply as they should have been. Leave the foliage on the bulbs until it is thoroughly dry; as long as it is green it is producing food reserves which enable the bulb to bloom the following spring. Do not cultivate the soil deeply as you plant the annuals to avoid damaging the bulbs. If setting out transplants, dig an adequately sized planting hole between the remaining bulb foliage and plant the transplants as you normally would. Sow seeds in a shallow furrow. As the plants grow you can loosely tie the bulb foliage in bunches to provide additional room.

2. Q: How long do daffodils and tulips have to be kept in refrigerator before planting?

A: Daffodils do not have to be refrigerated. Tulips should be chilled 8 to 10 weeks before planting.

3. Q: When is the best time to plant tulips?

A: Mid to late December

4. Q: How do you force tulip bulbs?

A: Chill in vegetable bin of refrigerator for 8 to 10 weeks then plant in pots with planting mixture of 1/3 each of potting soil, sand and vermiculite. Stir in a sprinkle of bone meal. Plant bulb tops one inch below the soil line. space one inch apart. Sit planted pot in water until soaked. Set in a dark place until shoots appear, then gradually move to bright light. Always keep in a cool room. Water from top when soil appears dry.

5. Q: When do you plant crocus bulbs?

A: Plant in November, 3 inches deep and 3 to 6 inches apart.

6. Q: Request for information on planting tulips in a tub.

A: Plant the same as you would plant in a garden. Keep outside and lightly moist. Plant late Dec or early Jan. 3 - 4 inches deep and 6 to 12 inches apart.

7. Q: Can you plant tulips just purchased (Nov 29) before Christmas?

A: Bulbs need a minimum of eight weeks chilling before planting. This must be done before planting.

8. Q: When and how do you plant hyacinth bulbs?

A: 4 to 6 inches deep in early winter after 6 to 8 weeks of refrigeration. Plant in late Dec or early Jan.

9. Q: When will my tulips bloom? They were planted two inches deep at the end of December after being refrigerated (Darwin variety).

A: It will depend on the weather we have during January and February. Bulbs should have been planted six inches deep. Usually latter part of March to the first part of April.

10. Q: Will forced potted tulip bulbs produce next year?

A: Probably not.

11. Q: When can you move iris?

A: In the fall dig, divide and replant, fans facing outward where possible, barely covered with soil (bearded).

12. Q: When do you divide shasta daisies and snowdrops?

A: In the fall.

13. Q: What causes sparse blooms on daffodils?

A: Planting too shallow causes bulb to split quickly into many small non-flowering offsets. Bulbs should be planted at a depth twice the diameter of the bulb itself. Divide every fourth year after leaves have died off in early summer.

14. Q: Should hyacinth bulbs be fertilized?

A: Mix bonemeal in the bottom of the hole when planting or work a balanced fertilizer into the soil when preparing the bed. It is especially important to use a balanced fertilizer as hyacinths resume the growth cycle during their second year. If not well fertilized they will not give equal performance each year.

15. Q: When can you dig jonquils and replant?

A: Wait until all green leaves have thoroughly dried. Then they can be dug, dried, treated for fungus and replanted in the late fall - Nov or Dec.

16. Q: Why didn't my tulips come back this year?

A: Tulips require an 8 to 10 week chilling period. They must be dug each year and prepared for fall planting which includes a refrigeration period. We do not recommend carrying over tulips; best to start with new bulbs each year.

17. Q: An Easter lily is planted on the east side of the house and is 1 1/2 foot tall. It looks healthy. Will it bloom?

A: It probably will bloom but where it is grown outside the blooms will be mid-summer.

18. Q: How do you move a potted Easter lily outdoors?

A: Plant when flowers fade in a sunny spot (shade their feet); keep moist.

19. Q. Can bulbs can be grown in the shade?

A. You are absolutely right. Unlike seeds that contain few nutrients and often do not sprout into plants, bulbs are most efficient storehouses of nutrients which seldom fail to send up and maintain a plant. The amaryllis, which has become one of the most popular bulbs for Christmas gifts, is a bulb which will grow and bloom in absolutely no sunlight -- just household lighting. Amaryllis are gifts of living beauty for anyone who's winter- bound or winter-weary. Everyone loves these amazing flowers, avid gardeners are intrigued, children are fascinated by a living gift that they can grow "all by themselves." Apartment dwellers, convalescents, friends at the office -- all are delighted by immense, lovely amaryllis blooms. For the past several years I have given my old 80-year-old mother a 3-to-a-pot amaryllis (red or apple blossom color) from Jackson & Perkins Company in Medford, Oregon 97501 (Telephone 1-800-292-4769). She thinks her "baby boy" is the best thing since sliced bread. All she has to do is to add water, watch the plant grow every day and in just 5 to 6 weeks, the beautiful blooms unfold giving testimony to the brilliance of her horticultural son. I love those bulbs!



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