Bulbs didn't really come up

kristie73(z5 Co Springs)May 18, 2006

I planted tulips and daffodils back in October. I feel like I planted them at the right depth and spacing. I got them from Lowes. They are in a bed with decent soil, weed fabric (I cut little holes out of the fabric) and mulch on top. I don't think I watered them enough. They also get about half day or a little more sun, some areas are shaded. A few of them popped up but never bloomed. I sprinkled the bed with bulb food. This was really my first time planting bulbs. I feel like it was a waste. What did I do wrong? What should I do now? Do you think if I leave them in they might come up next year? Is it still possible for them to come up this year? Should I just water them more? Did they not get enough sun. Too much mulch on top? Maybe I should just plant a bunch of annuals on top. I really wanted the color. :( What happened?

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

The weed fabric was a big mistake....if the bulbs shifted just a little the fabric prevented them from finding the hole...
Also weed fabric prevents soil from "breathing" and makes it compact......and eventually it will silt in and prevent water from draining proplerly.
Get that stuff out of your gardens and try again.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 6:24PM
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deeds1(the far SWUK-9)

I grow many bulbs with landscape fabric over the top and have never had a problem with either bulbs not 'finding the hole' or it 'silting up', maybe in the UK our landscape fabric is different.

Some bulbs can take a year to settle in and really give a good show and planting depth is crucial for flowering, they really need little water at all when they are dormant,but plenty when they are growing.

Don't give up,bulbs are fabulous.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 3:30PM
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I ordered bulbs from BRECKS BULBS, mail order. Planted them in the fall (lillies, crocus, tulips, Alliums) Of 8 Tulips, 1 bloomed. No Crocus's, no lillies, and my alliums came up green sprouts and never bloomed. My soil was clay matter, so I added peat and compost. What a pathetic sight my yard is.
How could so much go wrong?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 12:58AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Ouch! Several possibilities. Drainage was poor and the bulbs rotted in the ground. If you see puddling in the spring, that's the most likely cause. Second, poor quality bulbs. Check gardenwatchdog.com (I think that's the link) to see if others have had similar problems with Brecks. Squirrels could have eaten your crocuses. It is their number one favourite food and seeing as they are not planted deeply, easy to find. If your other tulips look like they got chewed, suspect squirrels for sure. Tulips are their #2 favourite food, but the bulbs are deeper, so harder to find.

They also love fresh lily sprouts, so if you saw them start to come up and then disappear, probably squirrels.

But I'm betting on poor drainage. Or a combination of all of the above. The good news is, these are all more or less fixable.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 2:53PM
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Don't put weed block fabric on bulbs. Pull it up.

Dig, check to see if the bulbs are still there. If the bulbs are still there and healthy put them back in the ground wide side down. Put Miracle Grow mixed verses the instructions with water on them 3 days in a row. They may still bloom for you. Water them lightly each day never drench them. After they finish blooming cut them off leaving 1 inch above the ground. Give them time released plant food in the fall.

If you hate to weed put some newspaper on the ground leaving a 1 ft opening around each bulb. Then put mulch on it. The newspaper will block most weeds, not all. BUT the newspaper decomposes each year so your bulbs can breathe and bloom. Check the bed every day pull or dig out the weeds every day. When they are little they are easy to pull out. Plant a perennial that has large foliage so it blocks most weeks from growing. Such as a Day lily or Hosta, with your bulbs.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:19AM
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I just thought of something else....Is this the first time you have tried to grow Bulbs??? Maybe you planted them upside down...No insult intended...

They will eventually turn themselves over if this is the problem.

Still I think you should pull up the weed block fabric. Or at least cut the holes BIGGER. You are going to have to pull it up to find your bulbs anyway if they have survived.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 9:28AM
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I never liked bulbs until one year I bought some Minature Daffodils, tete-a-tete from Wal Mart...(of all places they are so abusive to their plants) I planted them in Red Clay. I had bought 7 plants each had 2 or 3 bulbs, hoping that they would multiply. THEY HAVE MULITPLIED I have 300 bulbs. And am running out of places to put them. Daffodils are pretty easy and will grow in almost any kind of soil. I did water them with Miracle Grow and put time released plant food on them in fall. I also leave the white oak leaves that fall on that garden in fall on them all winter.

Planted Red Tulips in my other flower bed they do just as well. Actually they multiply more then the daffodils. The soil in that bed is store bought garden soil..It did take the tulips a year or so to get established. I just left them and fed them and eventually they came around and are lovely.

Both areas are VERY SUNNY.

I have lots of other bulbs now; I add something new each year. They are a lovely reminder that spring is here.

I always use a bulb digging tool...I always dig a little bit deeper then recommended then put loosened soil back in to make the depth right, this makes the soil under the bulb loose for the roots. THEN I put the bulb in, then add just enough dirt to cover the bulb then I put 3 (just 3) granules of multi cote time released plant food, then I give it about 1/2 cup of water, then I put the rest of the dirt on, then add another 1/2 cup of water to that. NEVER Pack the dirt down, leave it loose...Cover with mulch and leave them. Watering them only if it does not rain. Additionally I put time released plant food on them in fall and I give them Miracle Grow Bloom Booster in the spring when I see them start to come up. Bulbs like any plant take some time to get use to their soil and climate..So the plant food helps them. (hummmm lots of "thens" in that paragraph)

I did buy 100 crocus one year AND they disappeared...So I guess the squirrels got them..Funny I have 6 cats that live outside; Squirrels usually do not venture onto my property.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 10:59AM
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I live in Colorado Springs too and had almost the same results as you with my bulbs... I planted 24 tulips and 40 daffodils in my "Miracle Grow" flowerbed last fall and only three daffodils emerged but never bloomed, all my tulips came up but only six of them bloomed. I'm left now with the ugly green leaves and don't know how long I have to put up with them... my annuals and other perinials I have in that bed are starting to cover them up but I'm tired of looking at them. So what I'm wondering is when can I trim those off?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 11:49AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Give them 6 weeks, Jennifer, or until they're brown.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 3:11PM
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