J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Tue, 08 Nov 2005 11:01:01 PST
Hi John and all,

John Bryan noted that we have ignored soil testing in this 
discussion.  Soil tests are appropriate for bulbs grown in the 
ground.  Many of us, however, probably use very lean mixes that have only 
limited capacity to hold nutrients.  I learned to grow bulbs in a very lean 
mix indeed, and as a result I treat their culture as virtually 
hydroponic.  Every watering and liquid feeding is done so as to flush the 
pots well.  Soil analysis probably doesn't count for much under this type 
of culture.

Someone mentioned that not a lot has been put into the literature on, for 
instance, nutritional requirements of rare species.  However, there is an 
extensive literature, summarized in two very valuable books, on nutritional 
needs of commercial bulbs like Lilium, Tulipa, and Narcissus.  These are 
"The Growth of Bulbs" by A.R. Rees, Academic Press (1972) and "The 
Physiology of Flower Bulbs" by A. de Hertogh and M. Le Nard, Elsevier 
(1993).  The data is out there for most bulb groups.  The general 
principles are likely applicable to most of their relatives.

Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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