Spring has officially sprung according to the calendar! Hopefully, when you look out your window you hear birds singing, see grass greening and sprouts from your favorite bulbs appearing. With all the signs of spring the months of March, April and May can be a very exciting time for gardeners. This exciting time of new growth and blooms also means more work to make your garden the best it can be.
Pruning, raking and mulching all may be necessary to get your yard prepped for the growing season. In addition to the spring cleanup work you will have to do, you will most likely want to plant some new bulbs and perennials. Prepping the soil and planting area will require work, but the prep work up front will be worth it in summer. While all this prep for summer is going on, remember to take care of the bulbs you planted last fall that are now emerging! Taking care of spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinths now will be beneficial for seasons to come. To get the most out of your spring blooming bulbs read below for 3 quick tips.
3 Tips for Healthy Spring Blooms
Keep Rabbits and Deer from Eating Your Flowers
As soon as you see the leaves emerge from the soil on your tulips, crocus, hyacinths, and perennials, protect them from being eaten by deer and rabbits. Deer enjoy eating the blooms of tulips, while rabbits tend to feast on the leaves. Other perennials and bulbs may be vulnerable to attacks throughout the season, so you will you need to re-apply repellants throughout the growing season.
Applying a repellant such as Liquid Fence to the planting area as well as the leaves and flowers of your vulnerable plants is effective in protecting your plants from bunnies and deer. Liquid Fence is people and pet safe, so you don’t have to worry about your four-legged friends or little ones getting sick in case they are digging where they shouldn’t. Liquid Fence also won’t harm the deer or rabbits; it simply has a foul odor and taste that keeps deer and rabbits away from your garden.
What size deer and rabbit repellant to buy depends on how many and how active the deer and rabbits are in your area. For large properties or people with a heavy population of deer and rabbits, you will want to use the 40 Oz Liquid Fence concentrate. When mixed with water the Liquid Fence concentrate makes 5 gallons of repellant and can easily be sprayed on your plants as well as garden areas. If you do not want to spray the area, Liquid Fence also comes in an easy to apply granular form. Liquid Fence in granular form is sprinkled onto the soil. The scent of the product deters animals like deer and rabbits before they get to the plants to eat them. For spot treating and small gardens, the ready to use spray version of Liquid Fence will be your best bet! Liquid Fence is easy to apply but does need to be reapplied when it rains. Gardeners have had great success with Liquid Fence to deter deer and rabbits from destroying all their hard work!
Another solution for keeping deer at bay is to place deer netting over the flowers. Deer netting is a plastic netting with 1/2″ squares. The deer netting is placed over the flowers as they emerge in spring. The flowers grow with the netting on and protect the blooms from being eaten by the deer. Depending on how bad the deer are in your area a combination of deer netting and Liquid Fence may be beneficial to protect your flowers.
Fertilize After Blooming
Flower bulbs are resilient jewels of nature. In general, spring-blooming bulbs tend to take care of themselves on their own without requiring extra attention. There are some things that can be done to increase the chances of the bulbs blooming the following season. One of those things is to apply fertilizer for bulbs like Dr. Earth Spectacular Bulb Food. Applying a granular fertilizer after the bulbs are done flowering is most effective as this is the time the bulbs are gathering energy for the next season’s blooms. Dr. Earth Spectacular Bulb Food feeds the bulbs quickly and continues to feed for several months. Adding fertilizer can also help improve soil structure, which is important for healthy bulbs and perennials.
Do Not Disturb the Leaves
Once your spring bulbs are finished blooming it may be tempting to go out to the garden and clean up what remains of them. However, if you want the best chance of blooms for the following year you will want to leave the leaves intact. Once the flowers are done blooming you can remove the flower stem, but you will want to keep the leaves as is until they are withered, yellow and can easily be removed. After the flowers are done blooming, the bulbs are preparing for dormancy, during which time the leaves are gathering energy for the next season’s blooms. Therefore, it is important to keep the leaves intact so the bulb can gather energy for the next season’s blooms!
Spring Blooming Bulbs Easy to Grow and Care For
One of the best things about flower bulbs is how easy they are to grow! I always say flower bulbs are best for the neglectful gardener, as they do best when forgotten about. A little TLC can go a long way with flower bulbs before you plant, prepping the soil so it drains well has a huge impact. During the spring season following the 3 tips mentioned above: protect your blooms from animals, fertilize for next season and follow the do not disturb rule the leaves rule and you will have beautiful flowers this spring!