I missed the Do in February but if any of you did something essential to your bulbs last month, please append it to your comments for March, and I'll put them in the right place when the file goes to the WIKI. ============================================================================== In general, but also for Pacific Northwest North America and Western Europe - PROTECT Go out at night with a flashlight so you can see and remove the slugs that would otherwise eat reticulata irises. MOVE Take note of any bulbs that have become shaded by the growth of nearby shrubs or trees and move them to a sunny spot. If the sun never shines on crocus or snowdrops, they won't open to reveal the interesting markings inside, and bees won't pollinate them, so you most likely won't get seed. Snowdrops and other bulbs that have formed big clumps can be dug up and spaced out or put in a new area. It is not necessary to do this while they are "in the green" (ie. still have their leaves), but it makes it easier to see where they are, and it is too easy to forget to do it later. POLLINATE Pollinate any rare bulbs. Many clones are self-sterile, so use pollen from a different plant, but be sure it really is a different clone, and not just an offset from the one you are pollinating. Use tweezers to remove a pollen-bearing anther, and dust it on the central pistil, except for iris, which has the stigmatic surface along the edge of a narrow "shelf" on the underside of the style arm, just above the stamens. You can also use Q-tips or a section of pipe cleaner and then throw them away. This is a lot cheaper than the advice to use artist's brushes. You will not get seeds or fertile pollen from the commercial Iris danfordiae which is a sterile triploid. FERTILIZE Fertilize bulbs. Most bulbs are gross feeders while they are in growth, because they must store nutrients for a good portion of the year. Fertilizers should be low, but not totally deficient, in nitrogen (the first number on a commercial fertilizer package). 6-10-10 is OK. Tomato food is good. Exception: western Erythroniums must not be fertilized, but the European E. dens-canis can be. However, Lester Rowntree, in Hardy Californians, described how strongly Erythroniums grew and flowered following one of the summer brushfires so common in California. She counted up to 25 blossoms on one stem. (presumably this was something like E. tuolumnense). On Vancouver Island, a good grower gives his Erythroniums extra potash. PLANT many Brodiaea species,if they weren't planted in October. Fall-blooming small bulbs: Leucojum autumnale and roseum, Scilla autumnalis Lilies - most lilies are better planted in the fall, but garden centres do sell them in the spring, and many of the scented slightly tender ones like the green and black nepalense or the long white trumpets of Easter lily types like longiflorum and philippinense should be planted now and will flower in August. Summer flowering bulbs can be planted from mid-month on. It's a good idea to stagger the times of planting so you will have flowers over a longer season. Callas, crocosmia, gladiolus, ranunculus, tigridia. Northern California (and southern Europe?) - In addition to the above, canna and dahlias can be planted. Southern California, low desert through to Texas (and Mediterranean?) - In addition to the above, Caladium, Canna and Crinum can be planted when the soil has warmed to 18 C (65 F).