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Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2001

Spring-flowering bulbs have planting-bed needs

October 28, 2001

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Halloween is the traditional deadline for planting spring-flowering crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, tulip, snowdrop and other hardy bulbs in the central High Plains.

To bloom from year to year, hardy bulbs need to establish roots by late fall and then go through an extended chilling period, said Ward Upham, Kansas State University horticulturist.

In general, these spring bloomers do best with the following:

Full to partial sun during their growing season.

Sandy loam or improved soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Heavy clay and very sandy soils will need to be mixed 2-to-1 or 1-to-1 with an organic material such as peat moss, compost or aged bark.

Soil with good drainage and aeration, which typically means preparing the planting area by tilling 12 inches deep.

Adequate soil nutrients.

Hardy bulbs will not produce any top growth after planting in fall. They'll devote all their energy to developing roots before winter. Newly planted small bulbs can benefit from mulching after the soil freezes.

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