feeding bulbs for year 2

njitgradMarch 18, 2014

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?

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tuliper(7B RVA)

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.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:44PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Also when bulbs get crowded (about 5 yrs. here for daffodils) and are lifted for division, new bonemeal and/or fertilizer is added.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:26AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

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?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:43AM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

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.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:13PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

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.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:58PM
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Barb.ADK8

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?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 8:41AM
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Campanula UK Z8

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.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:04AM
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