The Oscars recognize excellence in cinematic achievement. For gardeners the really big show is SPRINGTIME!

Other seasons certainly get the nomination, however, springtime gets my vote. Who can deny great performances by chirping birds, maple trees teeming with buckets of sap, and emerging spring bulbs as they push through the earth?

Much to our dismay, sometimes the long awaited show of bulbs doesn’t happen. Why?

  • Critter activity – digging, eating
  • Bulbs lack stored energy

Bulbs go through a process of photosynthesis. Very simply, bulbs store up food starches for the next year’s bloom by absorbing sunlight through its leaves. Shady locations play an adverse role in the process. Additionally, if the greenery’s cut down prematurely, the process halts. For this reason, it becomes crucial to leave naturalized areas of bulbs (when bulbs spread with no effort) undisturbed after their bloom and allow the plant to die back naturally. The lack of stored energy holds true for tulips too. However, generally speaking, tulips are more short –lived from a flowering perspective.

What to do

  • Wait as long as possible to cut down the foliage.
  • When leaves are brown, the process is complete.
  • At the end of May, transplant poor producers to sunnier areas.
  • Fertilize anytime in the Spring. Use a basic nursery fertilizer.
  • Remember, positive effects will be seen the following year.

Nature’s excellent achievements hold me captive year after year. There is much to be excited about as the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer. I look forward to seeing you out in the garden.