Fertilizer for tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils?

Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7bMarch 26, 2012

What is the best fertilizer for tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils? (Brand name or ratio.) Also, when? Thanks!

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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Oh, and crocuses, too. :)

I have tried researching, but I get about ten different answers. I want to see what everyone says here and then I will pick whatever is the most common--I figure everyone here has actual experience. :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 7:33PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I don't fertilise them at all. They just get whatever mulch is going on the garden anyway.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:26AM
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I'm with Flora - you get 10 different answers because there is NO single correct one :-) Every fertilizer manufacturer is going to recommend their own but if your soil is decent and you mulch regularly, very little additional fertilizing for anything is ever required.

If you feel you must, an all-purpose fertilizer (all 3 numbers the same) is appropriate, applied modestly on established bulbs just as the foliage begins to appear. Newly planted bulbs have everything they need to thrive and bloom already contained in the bulb, which are food storage organs for the plants.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Thanks! I went with Epsoma. I do not mulch (mild winters), and I feel I should do something. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:58PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

carolinaflower - mulch,mulch, mulch whatever the winter. We have pretty mild winters too but I mulch all the same. What else do you do with all that compost you're making. (You are, aren't you?;-))

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 2:06PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am with flora. Resist the feeling that you must put something on your soil just because it is advertised for that purpose. I look down on our old farm now growing grapes. The property has been split, one vineyard being farmed completely organically, the other property newly sold farmed by "newly minted farmers". The new farmer has hauled in several yards of gypsum soon to be spread. That piece of ground was a peach orchard when I was a boy and I know the soil well. The addition of the gypsum will not hurt the soil, neither will it help it. So much of the touted soil additives fall into the "it won't hurt the soil or help it category". Compost and mulch both came off the soil and should be put back on to maintain the micro organism life in the soil. No one makes a lot of money on these products or spends money advertising them. Al

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Mulching has very little to do with cold protection and everything to do with soil improvement. As a garden coach/mentor, one of the first things I tell new clients is the best thing you can do for your garden is to mulch it on a routine basis. Mulching will improve soil structure, guard against erosion (and erosion can occur with just natural rain fall on unprotected soil), protect soil moisture/reduce surface evaporation, retard weed development year round and if a quality organic mulch like compost, replenish any required nutrients, negating the need for any supplemental fertilization. Plus, organic mulches effectively recycle what would otherwise be considered waste products.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

No composting here, sorry...I seriously do not have the time. :( Dh is against mulching because he says it has to be replaced so often. Is that true? What kind of mulch do you recommend? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:03PM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

I've heard Ed Hume say this many times:

Fertilizing Bulbs

Q: At one of your lectures, at the Garden Show last spring, you mentioned fertilizing bulbs in late winter. I have forgotten the exact timing and method you suggested? Can you give me additional information?

A: The best time to feed the bulbs is when the new foliage growth is about two to four inches high, in late winter or earliest spring. And, a second application should be made just after the bulbs finish flowering. Use a liquid type fertilizer, such as fish, Peter's, Rapid-Gro, Miracle-Grow, etc. Apply to the new leaves and surrounding ground. Use according to directions so you do not burn the tender new growth. These feedings are made to help build strength into the bulbs, for future flowering. This type of feeding is sometimes especially useful for bulbs that have been in the ground for a number of years.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

Thanks! That's about what I was thinking, except I was going to do another one in late fall. Those make sense. I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:48PM
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