How To Use Organic Compost With Bulbs
Organic compost is a potent resource for nutrients, however, because of this, there is something that needs to be said regarding its use with bulbs and how much compost to use with these plants as you carry them over into the next season. Typically with plants that are used in the springtime such as an Amaryllis, there is a certain process that must be done prior to a successful planting so that they can bloom in the spring season. Here are a few tips on how to use organic compost in a proper way in order to prepare your plants with bulbs to bloom in a healthy way.
There are many examples of what to do with bulbs and how to have them successfully treated so that they can almost on autopilot bloom when the right time comes. Let’s say for example that you acquired bulbs that flower in the spring, but you did not get them all planted in time so that the process can occur. What you want to make sure happens is that you have enough organic fertilizer in the pot prior to the cold season where the bulbs will sit for weeks in order to allow the roots of this plant to absorb enough nutrients in order to be ready for a fresh bloom the following season.
What will happen is that a plant that does not have enough nutrients will have a bulb that will not root and therefore will not grow or bloom successfully. Sometimes a good avenue is to wait until the following season, but the problem is that initially nutrients were not stored. This is where using organic compost, whether purchased or created from a worm bin, can be used in order to ensure that each season your blooms are successful. Here is the process.
Remembering that most roots need temperatures above freezing but no more than 35 or 40 degrees in order to prepare them for the growing season in spring, you need to expose the roots, once it has finished blooming, to the right amount of water and fertilizer throughout the winter in order to properly treat the bulb. In what I would call a resting season, a period of about seven to eight weeks, once the leaves have died back and the plant is growing no more, stop adding new fertilizer and only used a trickle of water until springtime reoccurs. Doing so will ensure that the bulb has time to rejuvenate and be ready to bloom in the spring.
What you want to be careful with is how much fertilizer you use. If this is regular fertilizer you can use a normal amount in proportion to the plant that you are growing and also the space and amount of dirt that you are using. Obviously you would not mix half fertilizer and half dirt as this may have a burning or adverse affect on the root system. If using pure worm compost, you could actually grow a plant in this with no dirt with no adverse effect to the plant, however in that we are focusing upon bulbs, the period of time where the plant is dying back, compost needs to be used in small amounts as you also decrease the water supply. This gives the bulb the opportunity to die in essence and be reborn in the spring.
One other thing to consider with this system is the container that the plant is in. Make sure that the bottom of the plant has ample drainage. Do not use stones or pebbles at the bottom of your container and if you can make sure it is not a plastic pot or container but one that is made of clay which dries out much faster than any kind of plastic. What you want to be sure of is not getting root rot in the last few days prior to the plant dying back because this will affect the nutrient flow into the bulb which will have fill effects in the springtime season.
To conclude, compost is a necessary ingredient in all planting, whether you are using it on a large scale farm or on a small scale in your home with a few plants. Be careful of the type of fertilizer that you use. If you are using straight worm compost, this is a safer bet in bad you can actually grow plants in your warm fertilizer without an adverse effect to the plant. Make sure that you back off on the amount of composting material you used in the dirt weeks prior to the plant dying off. This will be signified by losing its leaves and flowers at any.
Finally, bring almost all watering and composting efforts to a standstill before you clip the plant and store it in a cold covered area to be ready for the next spring season. In this way you can create a healthy and predictable replanting of your bulbs while safely energizing them for the next season with your organic compost.