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Daffodil and Tulip Bulbs Are Hungry Now




Daffodil and Tulip Bulbs Are Hungry Now 2809 KSU00008

Daffodil and Tulip Bulbs Are Hungry Now

– The signal is little green leaf tips that have struggled to sprout and grow up from spring-flowering bulbs, through topsoil or surface mulch, and out into the light.

Those tiny new spikes of daffodil, tulip and hyacinth foliage are a sign that spring is on the way.

But, the fact that they´ve emerged is a signal – a dinner bell, sounded by the underground bulbs, according to Ward Upham, horticulturist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

\”This timing is totally counter to what´s best for feeding other flowering plants. That´s why gardeners often make the mistake of fertilizing bulbs later, as or soon after they bloom,\” Upham said.

Feeding bulbs then is a waste of fertilizer, he explained. When their foliage first pokes into sight, the bulbs´ roots have awakened from winter and are hard at work. By the time the plants start blooming, those same roots will be dying. The bulbs won´t put out new roots until fall.

\”If fertilized while they´re flowering, the bulbs will get a partial to zero dose of the nutrients they need to produce flowers the following year. So, if you miss early spring, you´ll be better off waiting until fall,\” Upham said, \”which also a good time to fertilize.\”

Bulbs need nitrogen every year, he said. And, that´s what they´ll get from a traditional application of blood meal at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet (1 teaspoon per square foot).

\”You can´t go too far wrong, though, with a nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer. Those formulations have a large first number on the bag, such as 27-3-3 or 30-3-3,\” the horticulturist said. \”Don´t apply it at the rate recommended for lawns, though. Cut that rate by a third to about 1 pound per 100 square feet.\”

Many central U.S. soils already have a good supply of phosphorus and potassium – represented by the second and third numbers on fertilizer bags, Upham warned. So, unless a soil test indicates an existing planting needs more of those nutrients, applying a complete fertilizer can be bad idea.

For complete fertilizers, the bags\’ three numbers tend to be the same or close to each other in amount, as in 10-10-10 or 9-9-6.

\”After the bulbs bloom, the only other thing you´ll have to remember is to leave the plants´ foliage attached until it dies naturally. As the foliage turns brown, the plants will transfer the leaves´ energy down to their bulb. That energy will also help with next year\’s blooms,\” Upham said.


K-State Research and Extension

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Stephanie Krabbe

Felicelive is ultimate collection of Lifestyle Inspiration, Travel Guide, Food, Crafts and Decoration, Home Decor or Interior and Exterior Design Ideas ,My inspiration comes from my own experiences and the people that live around me

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