Bulbs and Flowers

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  #1  
Old 03-22-02, 01:00 AM
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Bulbs and Flowers

Dear all,

One of my favourite sectors in gardening is the planting of spring and summer flowers like Freesias, Gladiolus, Dhalias and many more. Usually these bulbs live only one growing season and after each season I collect all seeds and store them in a safe place ready to be re-planted in the next season. I usually plant these bulbs in plastic pots containing a mixture of compost and soil.

Question: Once the season is over to you recommend to re-use the same compost/soil for the next season? If yes what precedures are required to revive the soil and make it ready for the next season?

Many thanks in advance.

ROBERT
 
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  #2  
Old 03-22-02, 06:57 AM
Gami
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Hi Robert,

I asked that question on Sierra a couple of years ago, because I've had the same potting soil in my whiskey barrels for 5 yrs. I was told yes, the soil was fine. All I needed to do was add more potting soil if necessary, and to fertilize the plants on the scheduled required. The potting soil is just the medium needed to support them, but you need to feed them. I use Osmocote for my planters. Then I can forget about fertilizing them until next spring.

Someone else suggested that if you thought it was necessary to sterilize the soil, you could do that simply by putting the soil in the hot sun for a few days. Some do that in the oven, but I understand that really stinks up your house. Others say they put it on those tin foil disposable roasting pans and put it on their grills outside. I've never sterilized my soil.

Gami
 
  #3  
Old 03-22-02, 08:01 AM
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Gami,

While reading your reply another question just came into my mind. I always ask to my self, what is the relation between the size of the container and the amount of fertilizer? I believe that there is some sort of relation between them. I mean a medium sized plant will be able to survive in a small container as long as fertilizer is applied regularly, but until what limit? The roots won't feel the need to spread that much as long enough food is available in the vicinity.
What is your opinion on this? I am asking you this because I have a very small garden and I always try to reduce the container size as much as possible to gain space.

Thanks

ROBERT
 
  #4  
Old 03-22-02, 09:17 PM
Gami
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Hi Robert,

<The roots won't feel the need to spread that much as long enough food is available in the vicinity. >

I'll address this question first. I hope someone jumps in here if I'm wrong, because I want to learn just like the rest of you. The above statement is intended more for plants/trees/shrubs planted directly in the soil. If you plant the aforementioned in the ground, AND you add compost, fertilizer, etc., in the "hole" that you have dug to plant whatever it is your planting, then IT will not want to grow outside of that boundary that you have created with nutrients. Why would the roots want to go out of that fertile soil? That's just one of the reasons why it is suggested that when making new beds, you work the soil up and add compost, etc. to the whole bed.

Question No. 2 - <what is the relation between the size of the container and the amount of fertilizer? I believe that there is some sort of relation between them. I mean a medium sized plant will be able to survive in a small container as long as fertilizer is applied regularly, but until what limit? >

Plants become rootbound. Some plants need to be rootbound to bloom, but other plants reach a point where when rootbound, they need to be repotted. If you use a liquid fertilizer, it's easy. If your plant requires fertilizer once a month, once a week, water with your liquid fertilizer. If you choose to use Osmocote (strengths vary) then it's best to follow the directions on the bag.

Gami
 

Last edited by Gami; 03-23-02 at 07:42 AM.
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