Tip of the Week! Is your Crocus Showing?
During this warm weekend, take a minute to poke around where you planted bulbs last fall. We’re almost on the brink of bulb season and you may soon see some signs of emerging growth in the warmest and sunniest areas of your yard.
The good news about the crocus plant is that it is one of the earliest bulbs to bloom as winter turns into spring. It’s a low grower which means it is well positioned to hug the warmth held in the soil. Those qualities make crocus flowers resistant to frost which is why you’ll often see them looking perky on top of a little snow.
Soil temperature more than air temperature hastens bulb growth. Plants in warm, sunny areas will emerge sooner as will bulbs planted in sandy soil which tends to warm up sooner than wet, clay soil.
If you want to slow down growth, adding water to the soil can be effective. Also, be sure to avoid letting the soil dry out too much as dry soil can kill bulbs just like it can kill any other plant.
If tulip or daffodil bulbs emerge too early, this may also be a sign they were planted too shallow. Make note of this on your gardening calendar when it’s fall bulb-planting time again.
Here’s the general order of when spring bulbs bloom:
- Crocus and snowdrops
- Grape hyacinth
- Early tulips and early daffodils
- Mid-season tulips and daffodils
- Late daffodils and late tulips
Because of the variety among both tulips and daffodils, these flowers can be enjoyed from early to late spring if you plant the full range of bulbs. The span of bloom time beginning with early-bloomers and through late-bloomers can last from 5 to 6 weeks. The late bloomers may be barely starting their decline when it’s time to plant annuals.
Welcome emerging late winter and early spring flowers. Their stamina to emerge early in the growing season reminds us that winter is, after all, just a long sleep for everything green and growing. Wake-up call: nap time is soon to end.
Photo courtesy David Winger Photography
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