Planting bulbs

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by Dave Owens, The Garden Guy / Special to azfamily.com

GMAZ interview by Scott Pasmore

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:30 AM

PHOENIX -- Now is the time to start shopping and selecting your bulbs, nurseries are now starting to stock up on bulbs for fall planting and spring blooms. You will find among, other things, tulips, narcissus, freesia, daffodils, ranunculus, and many others.

Some bulbs will need to be "tricked" into thinking it’s the winter season. To do this,  place them in a brown paper bag and put them in the crisper side/compartment of your fridge for six weeks. You are doing this because our season lacks the cold temperatures needed to help start the process. After they have been in your fridge for six weeks, it will be time to plant them.

The depth should be indicated on the package and will vary from bulb to bulb. You can plant them in any prepared annual bed or garden bed and water and maintenance will be the same as any annual or vegetable plant.

As spring approaches, they will start to sprout. There is a chance you may have forgotten about them during this time as you won’t even see them so it will be a pleasant surprise.

The bulb type will determine when it blooms; it’s somewhat of a slow process. It is always good to get a different variety to plant and seeing what will come out of it in the end as you will have a bright colorful garden.

If we have a hot spring season the blooms will fade faster. It is a part of the process so there is not much you can do. As the leaves and blooms start to fade, leave the leaves on until they become completely brown. The bulb is obtaining nutrients from the leaves during the process for next year and it may also be multiplying underground.

You can leave the bulb in the ground. You may get some growth the following spring. You also might consider digging a few up and storing them in dry location until fall. Then you put them back in the fridge again. For best results dig them up and store them until fall season and start the process over.

Adding compost to your garden frequently, along with foliar feeding my entire garden every six weeks with Extreme Juice is how I got the results you see at my Channel 3 garden – and how I’ve been so successful growing just about anything I’ve ever tried to grow!

For more information check out my website, www.gardenguy.com and my books: Extreme Gardening; How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts, The Garden Guy: A Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening in the Desert Southwest and The Garden Guy’s Southwest Bug Guide Extreme Juice: A blend of fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, humic acid, soft phosphate and much more. Perfect for foliar feeding or soil drenching, this natural product will revitalize micro-biotic activity in the soil, stimulate roots, and make plants stronger and healthier.

Right now is the time to fertilize your citrus trees. You can use Extreme Granules found at www.gardenguy.com. Extreme Granules is a high-yield formula made specifically for citrus. It is derived from poultry waste and blood meal with added mycorrhizae. It has a high amount of organic nitrogen that will release slowly to feed your citrus and increase microbiotic activity in the soil. Included on the packaging is an extensive section on citrus care.

If you are not overseeding your lawn, you should add Extreme Weed Preventer, which contains corn gluten meal, a by-product of processing corn to make corn starch and corn syrup. It was recently discovered that corn gluten meal prevents sprouting seeds from developing normal roots. This product will feed your grass and at the same time it prevents weeds seeds from growing -- 100 percent natural.

You should also start fertilizing your palms with Dr. Bob’s Queen Palm Remedy, which is a custom desert blend fertilizer specifically for Queen Palms. It's high in manganese and designed to lower the pH of the soil so the palms can get food it needs out of the soil.

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Well-known gardening guru David Owens, aka "The Garden Guy," shows experienced and novice gardeners alike how to grow organic foods in hostile climates (all desert climates) and land. For more information, check out GardenGuy.com or PocoVerde.com. If you have a gardening question, you can email gardenguy@gardenguy.com.

The Garden Guy's Extreme Juice is blend of fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, humic acid, soft phosphate and much more. Perfect for foliar feeding or soil drenching, this natural product will revitalize micro‐biotic activity in the soil, stimulate roots, and make plants stronger and healthier.

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