Fertilising bulbs

It's Sping flowering bulb time here in the southern hemisphere and I'm wondering if I can use a chemical fertilser that says it's for flowers and fruit on the daffodil/jonquil bulbs that are flowering now so that they build up their reserves for flowering next Spring???
If that's not recommended, what can I do now (Spring) to make sure I get lots of flowers next year please?
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Fran Farmer wrote:

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On 8/24/2014 9:36 PM, Fran Farmer wrote:

I generally wait until the early spring flowers start to fade. Then I feed my entire garden.
For bulbs and bulb-like plants (e.g., corms, tubers, rhizomes), I give them something when I plant them. At the bottom of the planting hole (which for some is not very deep), I stir in some bone meal. This is phosphorus, which promotes flowering. The problem is that phosphorus does not readily dissolve and thus must be placed ahead of time where roots will find it. On the other hand, bone meal in direct contact with a bulb might cause rot even though this fertilizer is considered very mild; so I put a small amount of plain soil above the soil that has the bone meal to separate the bulb from the bone meal. One dose of pre-planting bone meal should last for several years.
I also use bone meal when planting perennials. For flowering shrubs and trees and for fruit trees, I use the more concentrated superphosphate.
Remember to leave the bulb foliage alone after the flowers have faded. Yes, deadhead the flowers; but leave the leaves until the yellow and die. While green, the leaves are still providing nutrients to the bulb for next year.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Fran Farmer wrote:

where are they planted, how much light do they get, how much water and when, how long is your cold season, what do you do to them after they flower, what type of soil, do you mulch them and any other neighboring plants, edges or rocks?
having many hundreds of them here in various conditions i can relate which are doing the best.
those plants along a low north edge where the soil is shaded by the edge but the leaves of the plants are in full sun. the soil is sandy loam, sloped slightly down to the north. it is kept bare most years, but i had beans and peas in there the past few years (not this year). they have never been amended or fertilized other than what comes from the rain, the soil community and the neighboring mowed grassy area (which contains some clovers). the plants haven't been divided in eight years or more and are still blooming. we don't remove any of the leaves until they have turned brown.
we get a fair amount of rain here so i do not irrigate nor have i mulched these other than what beans and peas i grew as a cover crop. in a drier climate i would mulch them to hold in the moisture and to keep the soil cool. that way the plants will grow as long as possible before dying back.
in general they need to be kept consistently moist once they start growing again for the following spring. if you have early fall rains and then periods of prolonged drought then that is not very good for them. i recall you had a severe drought last year but i don't know how that was in respect to their growth cycle.
also, you may want to try some earlier blooming varieties. if your climate gets hot and dry too quickly then the plants will abort flowering. i have some later bloomers here that rarely flower because they need a few more weeks of cool weather than what we normally get. i should move them to that cooler north facing edge...
dividing and replanting only the largest bulbs can help, but i rarely get to it for all of them. most seem to not mind being crowded as long as the rest of the conditions are ok.
songbird
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