The roofs are shining from the rain, The sparrows twitter as they fly, And with a windy April grace The little clouds go by. Yet the back yards are bare and brown With only one unchanging tree– I could not be so sure of Spring Save that it sings in me.
by Sara Teasdale
If your flowers are blooming, it’s too late to add fertilizer. The best time to apply fertilizer to spring-flowering bulbs is when foliage emerges in the spring, not when they are flowering. Roots are most active when the foliage emerges from the soil.
Bulb roots actually begin to die at flowering, so fertilizing during bloom is a waste of fertilizer. An all-purpose fertilizer application when the plant begins to poke through the ground will provide nutrients for the bulbs to produce flowers next year. If your soil has plenty of phosphorus and potassium, and it probably does, fertilize with blood meal. This natural fertilizer promotes green leafy growth and is a fast acting source of nitrogen.
Deadhead the daffodils if you want, but leave the foliage until it dies back naturally. Energy from the foliage is transferred to the bulb, creating next year’s blooms. Leaving the foliage is the best investment you can make for next springs’ blooms. The tulip foliage is emerging. Next, we will have tulips and then iris to enjoy.