This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



October 3, 2014

A neat, and cheap, trick for fertilizing your flowering bulbs

One of the nice things about bulbs, like freesia, is that they return year after year. It's October 3rd and I've been seeing them start to grow for the last couple of weeks. And now I'm going to do my favorite trick to fertilize them, using the fertilizer spikes that I find at the Dollar Store.

I grow a lot of tropical plants here, and I'm a big believer in fertilizer. And my experience is that fertilizers are all pretty much the same. And the worst thing that you can do is to not fertilize your plants! So, I'm always on the lookout for inexpensive, but good, fertilizer. And these *plant food spikes* are brilliant!

So, this is what you do: Keep a sharp eye out for the first sprouts, and then put the plant food spikes between them. It's best if they're spaced slightly uphill, that is, between the plants and the watering system. And don't worry about hurting the roots - you will do more damage by not fertilizing them! And a bonus is that these little spikes loosen the soil a bit, which, especially here in the desert, gets tightly compacted season after season, and which discourages water from getting where it should go.

Freesia, March 13, Glendale, Arizona
So there you go. Wander over to your Dollar Store (actually these came from the 99-cent store), get a whole bunch of plant food spikes, and start punching them in. After they're in, mulch and water well. Then watch your plants grow! These freesia will start to bloom in February.
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