Q . The tulips I potted in the fall were a delight this spring. How can I save the bulbs for blooming again next year?
A. As long as there is a spot in the garden for them, the bulbs can be replanted for more bloom next spring. Tulips tend not to do well when saved for growing a second time in pots.
The tulips can be allowed to die back naturally during the post-bloom period and then stored in a cool, dark place, in or out of the pot, for replanting in early autumn, but my preference is to unpot the plants, separate them carefully and transplant into a prepared garden site where they can die back.
I’ve used a strip along a fence line for this, after digging compost and fertilizer into the soil. The tulips planted there became a source of springtime cut flowers.
Tulip bulbs planted in the open garden commonly give around three years of good bloom. This time period will vary with the tulip type. Some of the most long-lived tulips are to be found among the Darwin Hybrids. Deep planting, up to a depth of 30 cm, also helps to delay division in the bulbs and prolong their flowering lifetime.
Q. How can I get rid of horsetail?
A. Horsetail spreads by creeping rootstocks and also by spores. Fertile, spore-bearing branches appear first, in early spring, and are followed by growth bearing whorls of slender green stems radiating from joints on the hollow main stem. It is important not to let the fertile first growth mature and release spores.
Where horsetail is growing in areas outside garden beds, laying down thick black plastic for a year or more will help to subdue horsetail. Horsetail in planted beds can be curbed over time by keeping its top growth cut down. Dig out as much of the roots as possible, when the soil is moist, between established plants.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019