"Garden Guidelines for Spring" by Joan G. Hauser Spring 2009
Check Your Bulbs
To keep your bulbs healthy, add a complete fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 as soon as they start poking through the ground, working it into the top two inches of soil. Remove petals after they discolor but keep bulb foliage until it turns yellow. When the leaves die down, separate crowded clumps, replanting only the largest bulbs. Plant daffodils and tulips 6” to 8” apart and deep; crocus, squills, aconite, snowdrops and other minor bulbs should be spaced 3” to 4” apart and 4” to 5” deep.
It's Time for Spring Cleaning
If the Postman Knocks Too Soon
When delivery is too prompt, what can you do with the early arriving plants? If they are packaged, unwrap, check, and remove dead or damaged parts. (If burlapped or balled, leave wrappings in place and water if the cloth seems dry.) When temperatures are above freezing, you may hold plants for one or two days in a shaded cool spot, covering the roots with damp moss, wood chips, leaves or other organic material. For longer periods of time, heel them in or plant temporarily in a pot. When temperatures are below freezing, store in a garage or similar place where the temperature will remain at about 40 degrees.
A Date to Remember
Don't rush into anything. The last potential freeze date in Suffolk County is April 20th. After that, the sky's the limit for annuals and tender perennials.