What follows bulbs

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 09:25:37 PDT
At 07:31 AM 8/16/2004 -700, Roger Whitlock, paraphrasing Don Elick:

>recommended that
>bulbs not be overplanted with *anything*. In his opinion, over-
>planting had two drawbacks: one, it shaded the soil, thus preventing
>the bulbs from getting the warmth they need in summer to properly
>ripen; and, two, no matter what you planted, it would compete with
>the bulbs for nutrients, thereby weakening them.

I'm suspicious of advice of this sort. 

That business about shade preventing the bulbs from getting the warmth they
need to ripen makes no sense in our climate. It gets plenty hot in the
shade here, for weeks on end. 

And as for other plants competing with the bulbs for nutrients, all I can
say is that if the bulbs are dormant, they are not competing for nutrients
very much with anything. But maybe you want to object: won't the competing
plants remove nutrients from the soil while the bulbs are dormant? Won't
there be less left for the bulbs when they start to grow? Maybe, but if the
beds are exposed to the rain, even those beds without competing plants will
lose some nutrients to leaching.

The above is, of course, arm chair gardening. Can anyone point us to some
real facts? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I wish someone would
invent a fat sauce to feed to my bulbs.  

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