A very well-timed question. Though bulb companies sell fertilizer at shipping time in the fall and say to add it to the holes then, I have to say I never do that. The best time to feed bulbs is when they begin active growth, when the green shoots are emerging–like now in cold-climate gardens like mine (and it sounds like yours). Use an all-natural organic fertilizer, not chemicals; there may be a formula just for bulbs among the choices at your garden center. Apply according to label directions. After they flower, deadhead the spent flowers only, but let the foliage wither on its own. This is how bulbs feed themselves–so don’t cut off the greens until they die back. Quick tip about a bulb you might not have though of feeding: garlic. Now’s the time (when the greens are starting to push up into active growth) to feed it, too. Margaret
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.