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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

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Bulb Planting Time

For a dash of color in your garden next spring, plan your spring flowering bulb garden now. Make your bulb purchases as soon as they are available in the garden centers. They are arriving even as you are reading this. Early selection will provide you with bulbs that are in prime condition. The shelf life of many spring flowering bulbs is short, especially when kept under store conditions of low humidity and high temperature.

A good rule of thumb is to place the base of the bulb at a depth in the soil 2- to 3-times the height of the bulb. Select a well?drained area when planting bulbs. If the area is too damp, or poorly drained to grow good grass, don't plant bulbs there.

An application of slow?release fertilizer to the bed area is very helpful. Use a slow-release fertilizer at 3 to 4 pounds per 100 square feet of bed area.

There are several groups of bulbs to consider for fall planting. One of the most popular includes the narcissus group. By far the most adapted in this group are the white cluster flowering Narcissus tazetta varieties (including paperwhites), and the yellow cluster flowering Narcissus jonquilla varieties (including Jonquils). However, without a doubt, the most popular type of narcissus is the golden, trumpet?shaped daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus).

There are very few daffodils that will naturalize (bloom year after year without replanting) in this area. Fortune, with it's large, yellow orange cup, is the only narcissus proven to naturalize in this area. The most commonly sold King Alfred DEFINITELY DOES NOT naturalize! You may want to try some other daffodils that ARE said to naturalize in this area. Try Carlton (yellow cup), Ice Follies (white), Mount Hood (white) or most any of the jouquilla, tazetta or species groups.

Try to choose the earliest blooming varieties possible for the best naturalizing results. Early blooming allows the plants to develop and mature its foliage before hot, dry conditions begin. Without proper foliage development and maturation, there will be no blooms the following year. You can check for these varieties at local nurseries, or mail order these bulbs from the following sources:

The Daffodil Mart
Route 3, Box 794
Gloucester, Virginia 23061

William Welch
43 East Garza Road
Carmel Valley, California 93924?9450
(Tel. 408?659?3830)

Because tulip blooms do not persist very long in the hot temperatures of spring, tulips are probably the worst possible bulb choice for this area of Texas. Chilling in cold storage at 40 degrees F. (refrigerator hydrator) for 60 or more days is necessary for most tulip varieties, except for the Clusiana tulip also known as Lady tulip or Candystick tulip. Plant as soon as you remove them from storage in mid?January.

Anemones are small bulbs (actually, tubers rather than bulbs) are easy to grow and thrive in any garden soil. Anemones demand a rather shallow planting of 1-1/2 to 2 inches deep, and from 4 to 6 inches apart. Plant anemones in well-prepared soil in October and November. In our area, anemones are treated strictly as annuals. There are 2 commonly grown types of anemones: the St. Bridget, which has semi?double blooms, and the De Caen type, which has the single, poppy?like bloom.

The Ranunculus, or companion plant of anemone, is also a tuber or claw?like root. Because it is also small, it demands a shallow planting as does the anemone. Ranunculus also will not return the following year.

The Dutch iris, the early bird of the spring garden, is a small bulb which should be planted in October to perform well during its general blooming period in mid-to-late March. Although the flowers are normally smaller, Dutch iris frequently returns each year.

Other spring-flowering bulbs include hyacinths, which receive pre-chilling, as well as snowflakes and byzantine gladiolus, which can be planted immediately.