Latest posts by Tomsk

Tulips in cold weather

Posted: 07/03/2016 at 15:06

Many of mine (I'm in London) have grown to full height and developed full-sized heads already. When they've got to this stage in previous years (which is usually later than this), the flowers have opened within a few days. But these have been like this for over a week now:

 I was really expecting the first few to open over the weekend, but when nothing happened I thought about the cold weather. It was warmer than this when they were growing.

Tulips in cold weather

Posted: 07/03/2016 at 13:45

I have lots of tulips that have grown to full size, with more that are still growing, but they're refusing to open up and bloom. I think this is because we're still in this cold spell, which is set to last for another week or more.

Is this likely to shorten the amount of time I'll see flowers for when the temperature finally rises? It'd be a shame if I get two days of open flowers and then the petals fall off!

Growing garlic

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 19:25

A few days ago, I found some unused garlic that had been bought in a supermarket in November. It was a bit shrunk, but seemed perfectly edible, and there was one small green shoot tip visible at the top of the bulb.

On a whim, I broke off a few cloves and stuck them in a cheap plastic propagator. To my surprise, green shoots are already an inch or two high and upon pulling one out, there was a very good one inch root network developing in the soil! Incrediblw work for just a few days.

Anyway, I searched Google for information about growing garlic and it seems it's very late to be planting it and supermarket garlic is a bad choice to use for growing. So what am I likely to get in the end? I'm expecting the need to move the cloves to a proper pot by the end of the month at this rate.

Should I semi-starve them of water, like herbs, to improve flavour?

Daffodils Disappeared

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 19:05

Thanks for the replies!

Yes, I always leave bulb leaves alone until they go brown and detach themselves from the bulb. It is a mystery as they're all planted alongside the tulips, which are fine.

There must have been 40-50 daffodils and just as many tulips in a grid, and the soil wasn't disturbed by cats or foxes over the winter. The only other thing that occurred to me was that a few sweetpea bulbs are also in the same soil, but buried much more shallow. These grow after the daffs and tulips finish blooming. Is it possible the sweatpea roots somehow killed the daffs but not the tulips? The tulips heads are now on the cusp of opening. I think I'll have the first few flowers by the weekend.

The soil is very dense, but contains a lot of home-made compost and gets watered with plant feeds, so I doubt it's a problem with nutrients. I can only assume they all rotted or were eaten by particularly fussy grubs.

On an unrelated note, I've already had honey and small bumble bees flying around the garden looking for flowers for the last couple of weeks. So far, they've had to make do with one or two crocuses. It's a shame they won't have the daffs this year.

Daffodils Disappeared

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 18:06

I planted a load of daffs and tulips together in a mixed grid a few years ago, but this year none of the daffodils have appeared. The tulips all seem fine, but they're on their own in the same soil that is now absent of all daffs.

Any likely reason for this? The daffs grew well before, and I'd have thought that any grubs in the soil would have eaten the tulip bulbs as well as the daffodils.

I also notice that hundreds of daffodils in a park near me haven't blossomed as well as previous years, though there's still plenty of stems and leaves growing. With me there's no sigh of the daffs at all. Is it just a bad year for daffs generally or coincidence?

Curly dahlias

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 20:23

Sorry, I made a mistake in the thread title - I mean gladioli, not dahlias!

Although on a related note, I have a dahlia that has also not grown well this year. Lots of heads have formed, but they remain tiny, then go black and never flower, as though they're dying on the plant. There's plenty of leafs. Did I over-water them or something?

Curly dahlias

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 20:20

I planted some gladioli 18 months ago, and last year they grew tall and colourful. However, they've just begin flowering this (second) year and so far they're arriving with the stems curled/folded up, with the flower heads pointing downwards. They're also only about a foot tall. And so far they're flowering yellow too. Last year they were multi-coloured dahlias with various reds, oranges and whites.

What's gone wrong?

Multiple daffodil shoots

Posted: 11/04/2015 at 19:05

Ha! So I can probably end up with a house and garden full of daffs just by buying a couple of small bags of bulbs and letting nature take its course for a few years! Though doesn't it suggest that the 'new' bulbs I bought were already a few years old when I got them?

Anyway, that's great news, but out of interest, if the bulblets grow attached to the parent bulb, how do they spread across a field properly? It's obvious how a bird eats seeds and its droppings scatter them over many miles, but bulbs growing on top of one another would surely grow too densely?

Too much leaf, not enough flower!

Posted: 11/04/2015 at 18:47

I have plants in the soil and in pots (with the same soil, taken from the main soil area)

It's a mixture of decades-old soil with old stones and bits of brick, glass, etc, and my own compost made out of mostly vegetable peelings over the years (so probably not nearly enough 'browns')

I have various daffs, tulips, gladioli and other plants, which I only started planting a couple of years ago, but the flowers always seem to be overwhelmed by leaves.

I assume this is a sign there's too much nitrogen in the soil? Is there anything I can do to make the flowers more prominent? I know and accept that the leaves are important to feed the bulbs when they've finished flowering, so I'm reluctant to cut them back, but can anything be done to slow their growth while they're flowering?

When I walk past other houses' front gardens and see the exact same plants in them, they look completely different, with the flowers being the main thing to see, not buried underneath a sea of leaves.

Also, in case it's relevant, the tulips seem to stand upright on their own, while the daffs all lean right over, as though the stem isn't strong enough.

Multiple daffodil shoots

Posted: 10/04/2015 at 16:34

I planted those daffodils that have multiple small heads rather than one big one (some of which have 5 flowers and others 13!) but some of them have an extra one or two shoots growing from the bulb. None of these seems to be producing flowers, only the main stem does that, so what are they and should they be removed?

Are they like tomato suckers that just drain nutrients needlessly?



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