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My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Posted by katgardener 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 15, 14 at 16:29

I love spring bulbs but whereas I originally had a yard full of daffs and tulips, I only get a few, if any, at this point. I am having better luck with the smaller native bulbs, but even they are not naturalizing as fast as I had been led to believe they would. I did find Tarda tulips (picture) blooming this afternoon after having none at all last year, and the native crocus consistently do well. I also love chionodoxa and squill, and they seem to multiply nicely. But I'd like the daffs and lager tulips as well!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Thats odd - daffodils are pretty much indestructible and multiply easily, I have clumps now that are a foot in diameter. The only time I've had problems is with a really thick mulch that covers the plant and they can't push through in the spring - say your bark 6" thick. The second thing is cutting off the foliage too early - just let it die back naturally. But they aren't bothered by deer, voles, moles, or mice because they're toxic.

Tulips are another issue - deer, voles, and moles just love 'em. I'm far from an expert, but the really beautiful hybrid tulips with the fantastic shades of colors and blends only last a 2-3 years then they die. On the other extreme, I have some native-style, plain old short red tulips that multiply so fast that they won't bloom now they're so thick, and I have to dig them up pretty often and separate out the tiny bulbs.

They might be getting too dry over the winter? Or too wet?


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Hi David

I never pull out my foliage until it is so limp and brown that it comes out with absolutely no resistance.

Winter watering, on the other hand could well be the issue. I am terrible about that, despite annual vows to do better. That could explain why I have better luck with the small species tulips and snow crocus, both of which are more drought tolerant. My chionodoxa and squill are also doing well. Or at least they were until our hard frost the other night.


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 16:20

Hi KatGardener,

Ditto everything David said! My dafs tend to decline a little bit every year, but that's because I don't have enough sun for them!

I don't know if you got the really, really bad freeze we got in DEN last year on April 11/12, but up here it was bad enough to freeze even the foliage on my daf and tulip bulbs, and lots of other things. Because, as David said, the bulbs need the foliage to rebuild strength to bloom the following year, if the foliage froze on yours too, that could possibly explain a lack of flowers this year--but probably not a lack of plants/foliage! Almost all of my dafs that froze last year came up with foliage this year, but very few flowers. I have high hopes that they'll build up enough strength again this year to bloom more next spring!

I don't have many tulips, partly because I've heard that they do decline over the years (and partly because they have BIG foliage and I don't like the way it looks while I'm waiting for it to brown and die down). But I got a few from TreeBarb three years ago and the first year they bloomed very well, last year they FROZE badly as they were budding and I didn't know what to expect this year, but they seem to be coming back this year at least as good as they were the first year. I'm surprised! It'll be interesting to see if they decline over the next couple years or not!

In winter of 2011/2012 I got some Tulipa dasystemon, which is related to T. tarda, and I planted them around my rhubarb, thinking they'd bloom before the rhubarb started growing very much. They bloomed nicely, but the rhubarb got big way too fast so the foliage was shaded more than it should have been when they finished blooming, and I don't know if that's why or not, but only a couple of them came up in spring last year! T. dasystemon and T. tarda should both "naturalize," which, in Real Life means they're probably gonna be invasive, so I was amazed when they didn't come back at all! Two or three of them did come back last spring, and then they froze! Those couple are back again this year, but no signs of blooming yet! I figure if a couple of them made it, and they "naturalize," I can dig those few up this fall and plant them someplace else to see if they'll multiply! Fun experiment if nothing else! Here are a few pics of the T. dasystemon. They really do look like the T. tarda!

I agree with you that the "smaller things" like species crocus, and Chionodoxa have more Staying Power! But I also discovered, the hard way, that squirrels LOVE them, especially right after I plant something! I cover the area with chicken wire or cheesecloth when I plant bulbs now! Don't seem to have much trouble with the squirrels after the bulbs grow and bloom the first year. And, gratefully, I don't have deer, voles, moles, or mice! The squirrels drive me batty enough!

None of mine have ever "naturalized" like I was expecting (and afraid) some of them might, but many of mine are planted in pretty bad clay, so I kind of chalk it up to that! If your's are in halfway decent soil, and getting good sun, and you're leaving the foliage on till it completely dies down, I'm not sure what else it might be--if they're not being eaten! I guess there aren't TOO many Garden Hazards out there! LOL!

If you're willing to plant them pretty late, like November/December, you can find some REALLY good sales on spring bulbs in late fall. That's when I buy mine!

Skybird


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Hi back!

Those really do look like Tardas!

If you haven't stumbled onto them, one of my favorite snow crocus is a variety called "Romance." They are very tiny and a beautiful buttercup color and have multiplied beautifully without being at all invasive. I don't have a picture on my iPad, or I'd show you.

I don't have deer either, but I do have squirrels and my feral cats coexist with them happily. :(. I've never put anything down over my bulbs; I may have to try that.

We had a low of 16 here the other night, and my Tardas bloomed the next day, so they weren't bothered. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my Jack Frost Brunnera. It looks very black. I'm surprised; generally it comes through fine.

I thought you'd enjoy this picture. It is Spanish Hyacinth blooming together with Gallium oderatum. That was the only time that they matched their timing so nicely. Speaking of pictures, I can't figure out how to post multiples at one time.


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 17:55

I wind up buying whatever varieties are on sale, but if you ever have a pic to post of 'Romance' I'd be interested in seeing it. I really love the species crocus!

That's a pretty little hyacinth! I love hyacinths, but I have the "regular" ones. Just started a spring bulb/color thread and forgot that I have hyacinths blooming too! The cold messed with some of my hyacinths! I had sheets tented over most of them to keep the weight of the snow off of them, but I think it helped protect them from the cold too. Some of the ones near the "ends" of the tents are looking very unhappy! I got down to 20, and a couple I didn't cover at all are gone for this year! Even under a big pot, my bleeding heart bought it! That's pretty disappointing! Never will figure out why those things come up SO early! They can't take the cold at all!

Do you know sweet woodruff in totally invasive? I love it, but the only place I have it is in my escape-proof garden, between my shed and the fence!

My 'Looking Glass' Brunnera is right up against the house and next to a concrete planter, so I seems to have gotten a little bit of protection. It's not looking totally happy right now, but it should recover pretty quickly this year. Last year it got totally clobbered in the hard freeze and wound up black like yours! It took a while, but it got going nicely again!

To post multiple pics you need to have a photo hosting site so you have a link to copy into the text of your post. (Or else you need to know how to create the link yourself--which I don't!) I don't like photobucket or flickr, so I use Picasa and Picasa WebAlbums. The pics get downloaded into Picasa, I can crop and caption, or do whatever editing I want to (like the free version of PhotoShop--if there is still a free version!), and then they get transferred to WebAlbums where I can easily copy links to either put in emails or to embed in posts online, and there are separate links for thumbnail, small, medium, or large pics, and you can either link them to your album or not, whichever way you want. In '07 when I didn't have a CLUE how to post pics the great folks here helped me figure it all out! (Luv ya guys!) If you want more Picasa info, glad to help you. Don't know about the other hosting sites! (There didn't used to be any way to link even one pic here on GW. The ability to do it is quite new!)

Skybird


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

I transferred this picture of Romance crocus from my Computer to my iPad. It was taken in 2008. They always look like a patch of sunshine, and bloom for a long time.

I do know that Gallium is invasive, but where I have it it is welcome to spread. It's under a crab tree at the edge of my yard. I love how beautifully green it is.

Is Picasa free? I'll look it up online, but would love to hear more about it.

Katgardener


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Picasa is FREE! That was one of the conditions for the photo hosting site when I was looking for one and trying to figure out how to do it! Once you figure it out it's incredibly easy, and if you decide to install it I'll help you figure out anything that doesn't make sense to you!

There are "two parts" to Picasa! Picasa is software that lets you organize and edit your pictures. It doesn't actually "store" your pics, every time you start it it goes thru all the files on your computer and "finds" them all and puts them in whatever order/folders you put them into! It only takes a few seconds for it to load! All my pictures on my computer are in sub-folders in a picture folder, but it also "finds" pics anywhere else, like on the desktop. After you have it installed you can go to a "folder manager" and block it from scanning any files you don't want it to scan every time it starts! The folder manager lists all the files it's scanning, and you just "x" the ones you don't want it scanning.

The second part is Picasa WebAlbums, which is where you put the pics to get the links you need to post them online. WebAlbums does actually store the pics you put in it, so you can access them from anywhere as long as you can get online. You get some free storage space in WebAlbums, I think it's 5 GB, but if you want/need more than that you need to pay for it. I sorta got in on the ground floor and I pay $5 a year for more space than I'll ever use, but it's higher now, but still quite reasonable. If you don't do videos, 5 GB really is a surprising amount of space! I just checked my storage and I'm using 1.33 GB of my (paid) up to 36 GB! I have 77 albums in WebAlbums now, and several thousand pics!

In the past I've tried to explain this to people in words, and I was sitting here earlier trying to think of a better way to do it--to SHOW you how it's done, and it dawned on me that I could take screenshots of some of it to help explain it! Here goes!

I recommend you right click on these pics and open them in a separate window so you can keep this thread visible at the same time! Also, I've put captions on the screenshots that you won't be able to see/read unless you do click on the pics!

The first one is a pic of the basic Picasa window showing my list of folders down the left side and the first few pics in one of my folders on the right. This is where they wind up when you hook up your camera to the computer (or put your card in the computer) to import the pics into the computer. I don't have a screenshot of it 'cause it's basically just a blank window if I don't have a card in the computer to import pics from, but this Picasa window goes to the Import window and all the pics "appear." Once they appear you decide if you want to import all of them or just some of them--ones you imported earlier are automatically excluded. When you decide which ones you want to import and click import they all go into a folder like the folders you see in the left column in this screenshot! [I have a Mac so if you have a PC the desktop background is going to look very different! Had two PC's and LOVE my Mac!]

This one shows what happens when you double click on an individual pic, and this is where you do any editing and captioning you may want to do. The editing functions are the little boxes in the left column. If you want to see it more clearly, click on the pic and then click on the little magnifying glass on top and wait for it to come up. You can make it bigger yet by clicking on the + on the top left corner of the magnified view!

This one is the same as the last one but it shows some more of the editing possibilities on the left side. Read the caption for more!

This shows the main Picasa WebAlbums screen with my albums. When I "open" the albums I usually do it in a separate window so I can open several of them side by side if I'm looking for something--usually a pic of a particular plant/flower!

This is what an individual album looks like. The links for posting an entire album on RMG/online are on the right side. (I post individual pics, have never posted a whole album online!) See the caption, and see the next pic!

This is what happens when you click on a pic in an album. and on the right side is where you get the links to post the individual pic online! See the caption, and the next pic!

This is the same pic in that album, but in this one, on the right side I've clicked on the "Link to this photo" and it drops down so you can decide what size you want to post and then copy the link. The pics I'm posting here are "medium!" Again, see the caption for more!

This is a screenshot of what happens when you click on the magnifying glass up on top! To go back to the "regular" view you just click anywhere off the edge of the magnified view. More in the caption!

That's all I was gonna post, but then it dawned on me you might want to know how you get the pics from Picasa into WebAlbums, so one more screenshot! This one goes back to the Picasa screen. I've "selected" the nine screenshots from the "folder" and they're (very small) in the "tray" in the lower left corner. After they're in the tray you just click on the big green button that says "share," and the little window on the right opens. In the little "Upload to WebAlbums" window you can either pick an existing WebAlbums album to upload them to, or you can click on "new" and create a new WebAlbums album. The you just click the green "Upload" button on the lower right and wait for them to finish uploading. Once you do it the first couple times it really is incredibly easy! I'm Olde! If I can do it, anybody can do it!

A couple other things! After I started using Picasa they added "facial recognition" software to it! I hate that! I don't want to "name" my "people" and have them "identified all over the WWW!" I have face recognition disabled, and unless that's something you want I'll walk you thru how to disable it if you want!

Picasa is google software, and you need a google account to sign in to use it. If you have a gmail account you're all set to go! Otherwise you'll need to set up a google account. I use gmail, and Picasa defaults to my "first" gmail account which "they" consider to be my primary account--I have several gmail accounts by now!

If you decide you want to install it, google picasa download and go to the GOOGLE site to do it so you know you're not getting any "extras" along with the installation--if you know what I mean! There are versions for PCs and for Macs.

I'm kind of assuming this will raise questions for you that I haven't answered! Let me know what doesn't make sense! I was SO glad for all the help I got back when I was trying to figure it out!

If you want a laugh some day, here's a link to that original thread back in '07 when I was trying to figure out how to post pics and didn't have a CLUE! I was still stuck on trying to figure out which drive I was supposed to shove my camera into to get the pics "into" the computer! (I had one of those awful PCs back then, so this is all very outdated--but it's still pretty funny! And because of some changes Picasa made in what people can see when you link a pic, the Picasa pics I posted back then aren't clickable anymore! Back then if you posted one pic, people had access to the entire album! Now you can decide if you want them to just see the one pic, or the whole album!

I'm hungry! Gonna go!
Skybird

P.S. Almost forgot this! I've read online that iPhoto can "mess" with PIcasa somehow, so if you have a Mac and have ever opened and used iPhoto for anything, disable it first. I tried iPhoto when I first got my Mac and didn't like it AT ALL! Then my hard drive crashed (love my Mac in spite of that!), and when I got the new hard drive I never opened or did anything with iPhoto so it wasn't a problem when I installed Picasa!

P.P.S. Another thing! When you edit your pics in Picasa, the "original pics" are "unchanged." The "changes" are stored in the Picasa program, but you can ALWAYS go back to the original if you want to for any reason. Or you can have the original version AND the edited version. As I understand it, other editing sites "change the original" so you can't "get it back" once you've altered it. Not positive about that, but I know for sure in Picasa you always have access to the original!

I'm hungry!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 Photo Hosting Sites thread


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

Thanks!

I'm going to have to go about this slowly and carefully since I have thousands of photos in Adobe Photoshop and don't necessarily want family photos etc on Picasa.

If you said,I didn't catch it, but where are the pics stored? I certainly don't want to flood my iPad/iPhone memory! My desktop is a PC, by the way. I would like a Mac, but my husband is the family computer techie and is only willing to work with what he knows. He doesn't like the fact that he can't get at the "guts" of the software on Macs. I've been doing more and more on my iPad.

I Hope you liked the Romance crocus.


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RE: My spring bulbs are vanishing!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 16:59

I do like the 'Romance'! I was trying to remember what to tell you about Picasa and just forgot to say it--until AFTER I had posted the reply! Very pretty! I hope they keep multiplying for you!

If you have Photoshop, I don't think you need the "first part" of Picasa! I know you can edit in Photoshop, and I assume you can organize them however you want them too. That's what Picasa does, but it's free. One possible difference would be that apparently in the past at least, Photoshop was one of the programs that "changed your original," so once you edited it you couldn't go back to the original like in Picasa. Have never used Photoshop, so don't know if that's changed or not!

Originally you had to have the basic Picasa in order to be able to put pics into WebAlbums--the part where you get the links for posting. It's my understand that it's now possible to put pics into WebAlbums from other programs too, but I have no way to test that out to be positive about it! ~~~ UPDATE ~~~ I just tried to find info about doing that and I couldn't! If it was ever possible for a while, I don't think it is anymore!

Picasa, the organize/edit part of Picasa doesn't store the actual pics, it just stores the info about your edits and the order you put them in. When you start it it scans your files for the pics, so the pics are just stored wherever you already have them in your computer, in your case, apparently, Photoshop files. So Picasa would scan those files, I believe in the same order you have them in Photoshop. So it doesn't take up anymore space on the computer except the space for installing the Picasa software.

If you just want the gardening files, or whatever, in Picasa, after it's installed you go to the Folder Manager I mentioned above and "block" Picasa from scanning any you don't want it to "find" when it starts. After you get the settings the way you want them it'll only "find" the ones you want it to.

And WebAlbums stores your stuff "online" (if that't the right terminology!) The pics you put into WebAlbums can be accessed anywhere, the same way you can access email anywhere, on any computer. WebAlbums is where you get the links to post pics!

When I was searching to find info about transferring pics from Photoshop to WebAlbums I ran into some stuff about google starting to "transition" from Picasa WebAlbums to google +! I have no idea how that would effect you if you're signing up now! When I first "discovered" google + I immediately opted out of it! If you already have a gmail account I think you're ok! But what I was finding was pretty confusing!

Since you have Photoshop for the editing/managing maybe you do just want to use Photobucket or flickr to get links to post them, but I don't know how to do that, so can't help you there! If you want any more info about Picasa/WebAlbums, just let me know.

Skybird


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