There is nothing quite as welcome as those stunning spring flowers that appear to emerge from nowhere to invite the arrival of spring. Bulb type flowers are truly distinct plants, because they invest most of their days resting silently below the surface area of the soil.
Right on schedule, up they come, complete of blossom and vigor, and then almost as quick as they came, they go. Except for the green leafy part of the plant that tends to stick around longer than we would like them to. Regardless of their brief bloom time and unsightly foliage after the blossoms are gone, they are still a fantastic addition to any landscape. However how should you take care of them? First let’s speak about how to utilize them in your landscape.
Flowers of all kinds are best when planted in groupings. Many individuals buy 25 or 50 bulbs and just walk around the yard planting helter skelter. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but when planted that way they tend to blend in with the landscape and truly do not appear well at all. When you plant them in large groups they are a spectacular masterpiece.
In the early spring start considering where you would like to produce a bed for flower bulbs. Prepare the bed by raising it with good rich topsoil, and if at all possible add some well composted cow manure. Do this in the spring while you are in the gardening state of mind; you might not be in the fall.
Over the summertime fill the bed with yearly flowers to keep the weeds down, and to pretty up your yard for the summertime. Come fall all you have to do is pull out the annuals and plant your bulbs to the depth advised on the package.
If you believe you might have an issue with squirrels digging up the bulbs and consuming them, you can likewise wrap the bulbs in steel wool, leaving just the tip of the bulb exposed so it can grow out of the little wire cage you’ve developed. Or you can simply plant the bulbs and after that cover the bed with chicken wire or plastic fencing until the bulbs start to grow in the spring.
When the bulbs show up in the spring and start flowering, you must clip off the blossoms as they begin to wither. This keeps the bulb from producing seeds, which requires a lot of energy, and you desire the bulb to use all of its readily available energy to store food in preparation for the bulb’s resting period. Once the bulbs are completely done blooming you do not wish to cut off the tops until they are withered and die back. The million dollar concern is how to treat the tops till that happens.
Many people flex them over and slip a rubber band over them, or in the case of bulbs like Daffodils connect them with one of the long leaves. This seems to work due to the fact that it is a very common practice among many experienced garden enthusiasts. Mike is about to drizzle on the parade.
I highly disagree with this theory since back about 6th grade we learnt more about photosynthesis in science class. To recap what we discovered, and without going into the boring details, photosynthesis is the process of the plant utilizing the sun’s rays to make food for itself.
The rays from the sun are taken in by the foliage and the food making procedure begins. In the case of a flower bulb this food is transferred to the bulb below the ground and saved for later usage. So generally the leaves of the plant resemble little photovoltaic panels. Their task is to take in the rays from the sun to begin the procedure referred to as photosynthesis.
If we fold them over and handcuff them with their hands behind their back, they are not going to have the ability to do their task. It’s like tossing a tarpaulin over 80% of a photovoltaic panel. In order for the leaves to absorb the rays from the sun, the surface area of the foliage has to be exposed to the sun. When you flex the foliage over, you are limiting the circulation of nutrients to the bulb.
Flexing them over seems to work, however I’ve spent a lot of money on my bulbs. What I do is clip the blooms off as soon as they are spent, and simply leave the tops alone till they are yellow and wilted. If they are still not wilted when it’s time to plant my yearly flowers, I simply plant the annuals in between the bulbs. As the bulbs pass away back the annuals tend to grow and conceal them.