Plant Summer Blooming Bulbs Now!
The arrival of the new year signals the beginning of summer-flowering bulb planting season. Gladiolus, Dahlias, Lilies, Freesia, Cannas, and many other summer blooming bulbs should be planted now.
Few plants are easier to care for than bulbs. To get bulbs established, dig a small hole, sprinkle some bulb food or bone meal in the hole, drop in the bulb, and cover with rich soil. It is not necessary to do much else. A blanket of cool season annuals such as pansies, violas, or alyssum planted above the bulbs will give color to the garden until the bulbs germinate and grow through the covering in the spring. Winter rains will water the dormant bulbs sufficiently, and additional water is only necessary after the plants are growing in the spring. Bulbs will grow and bloom in almost any sunny location in your garden.
In addition to summer color, many bulbs will fill the garden with fragrance. Freesias are one of the most fragrant bulbs, and will bloom for weeks on end, year after year. Freesias bloom in shades of white, pink, red, salmon, purple and blue. Tuberose is another fragrant flowering bulb, and blooms in shades of pure white.
When the bulbs have completed their bloom cycle, the foliage should be left to die back naturally on the plant. Avoid the temptation to remove the foliage before it turns yellow. The foliage manufactures nutrients which are then stored in the bulb for next year’s bloom. After the foliage dies, the bulb returns to dormancy and disappears underground until the next spring. Most bulbs multiply in number and may naturalize after several years.
For additional information, consult the garden professionals at Green Thumb Garden Center located at 23734 Newhall Ave., Old Town Newhall.
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