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Planting Summer Bulbs

Martha Stewart Living Television
Each fall, many gardeners plant the usual assortment of spring bulbs like daffodils, hyacinth, and tulips, but to keep blooms in your garden during the rest of the warm-weather months, you can also plant summer flowering bulbs. In the early spring, plant bulbs such as deep-burgundy Gladiolus 'Espresso' and pale-blue Gladiolus 'Blue.' Set the bases of the stem, or corms, 6 to 8 inches down into the soil and about 6 to 8 inches apart. Begin watering once new growth emerges, and mulch to conserve moisture. Monitor the moisture of the soil all season, watering as needed; feed biweekly with a balanced, soluble fertilizer, following label directions. Once the plants flower, stop fertilizing and cut down on watering. Stake the plants when the stalks become top-heavy.

Galtonia candicans and Galtonia viridiflora are also good candidates for summer flowering bulbs. In the spring, plant the bulbs 5 inches below the soil surface and 18 inches apart. Keep the soil uniformly moist once growth emerges, and reduce watering when the blooms fade in the fall. Once the foliage emerges in the spring, feed biweekly with a diluted, balanced, soluble fertilizer. You can leave them in the ground year-round if you live in a mild climate. If your climate tends to be cooler, carefully lift the bulbs when the foliage dies, and store them in a shallow box of dry soil, peat, and sand.

We used bulbs from Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center.

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