How and when does one go about feeding bulbs for year 2 and beyond since they are typically buried under between 4-8 inches of soil?
Many people mix in typical slow release osmocote or bone meal when planting, but that must be worked into the soil, any water soluble bulb food fert (4-8-4 for example) moving forward will do just fine.
Also when bulbs get crowded (about 5 yrs. here for daffodils) and are lifted for division, new bonemeal and/or fertilizer is added.
In botany class, I was taught that a bulb contains all the nutrients required for the plant to bloom; and that those nutrients are replenished via the foliage and that is why they are left to dry on the plant. Was anyone else taught this? For this reason, I never fertilize bulbs and have beautiful blooms each year. Any comments?
I used to work in an all-purpose fertilizer when the buds showed color. But the last few years, I've been lazy and didn't add anything. I see no difference in the blooms. So I'm inclined to agree that they do not need any special attention after planting in a well-prepared bed.
Some of my special plantings get a nice dose of compost, most everything else has to settle for plain garden soil and seems just fine with that.
I am new at planting bulbs but have successfully grown butterfly gladiolas last year. I bought a lot more for this summer as they were absolutely gorgeous!! I placed the bulbs in pots and watched them grow. This summer I plan to clip them for vases. What an easy way to get great results.
If I plant crocus bulbs in a pot will they come up for this spring or next?
I start a lot of bulbs as seeds in pots and one thing I always do around this time of year is to add a bit of sulphate of potassium to the bulb pots - it helps the bulbs to ripen and build up growth for the following year - I only do this in years 2, 3 and 4 - never the first seedling year. A spring top dressing of potassium never goes amiss to my mind.