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an amateur with tulips

an amateur with tulips

I planted tulips for the first time last autumn, and got a really lovely healthy display this spring-time. They are about to finishing flowering now. When can I cut back the greenery? Do I leave the bulbs in-situ in the ground? Do they need to be fed? 030320171, Tomhaggard, Co Wexford Posted: 03/05/2017

Give a light shake of general fertiliser to boost growth of next year's flower buds in the bulbs. Water well before and after feeding to wash it in. Do not remove any leaf until the tops have withered dry. Leave the bulbs in the ground but watch for slugs and snails in spring.

  Daffodils being cut

Daffodils being cut

Nearly every white daffodil in my garden has been picked or cut by something... humans have been ruled out, the stalk is cut at the base with no chew marks, no part has been eaten... is this the work of a dog, slugs or something else? Thanks! gardengnome, Cork, Co Cork Posted: 31/03/2017

Snails eat the flowers. Dogs do not touch as the stems are posionous to eat. Possible narcissus fly larvae or leatherjackets. It is unlikely to occur again and the plants will flower again.


Tulips - after flowering care

My potted tulips have finished flowering. Will they come again next year? If so, what do I do with the bulbs now? Inish, Fanad, Co Donegal Posted: 30/03/2017

Potted tulips are most unlikely to flower again in the pot because the roots are restricted.

Plant out the whole pot-ful, compost and all, into a border with well-drained soil and a sunny aspect.

Water well and every week until the tops wither, and hope for the best. 


Is sycamore soil toxic?

I planted spring bulbs (snowdrops and bluebell H. nonscripta) under a sycamore tree and nothing has come up. I cleared and raked the area well before planting, cut away the lowest branches, so there's plenty of light and rain getting to the soil, but still not flowers. Just wondering if the sycamore itself might be inhibiting growth. I know it happens with beech. liveen, Galway, Co Galway Posted: 20/03/2017

Bluebells actually thrive under beech trees. And the sycamore is marginally toxic to grasses, not bulbs. There may be some foliage of these bulbs present, but the bulbs were slow to flower, being too small.


Tulip bulbs. Is it too late?

I have Tulip bulbs stored in old newspapers in my garage. They are sprouting. Is it too late to set them in mosspeat in pots? Will they be ok if left there until December? Seanbss, Mullingar, Co Westmeath Posted: 13/02/2017

Plant immediately ... keep the sprouts jsut about soil. Do not wait, they will be dead before December. 


Storing Dahlia Tubers

I want to store my Dahlia tubers, which have been growing in the herbaceous borders, indoors over winter in pots. I read that they should be placed in Peat or sand but I'm wondering if I could use Multipurpose Compost instead? My long term plan is to put them back out in a coldframe in March/April before planting back out in the borders as young plants in late May/early June. DonFoley, Maynooth, Co Kildare Posted: 11/11/2016

Yes, multipurpose will be fine.Watch the moisture levels in the compost. Dry but not dust-dry and they might shrivel and need a soak for a day in winter to plump up.


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