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Advice on balcony garden

(9 Posts)
Lorelei76 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:35:51

hello all
how's things?

I would have put this on the old general gardening thread but can't find it.

Short version - high level very exposed balcony, planted various troughs. Snowdrops - planted 42. In fairness I was warned these were hard to grow. Now only 3 coming up. Won't be trying that again!!

however, my question is about something else - hopefully not a hugely stupid question. I planted a mixed trough with various tulips - standard dwarf and ranculus I think they were called. Their shoots are coming up but accompanied by quite a lot of greenery.

My question is, given they are planted closely in a small trough - so not a lot nourishment - are these green leafy bits (quite long) necessary or just a pretty extra will take up nourishment that the bulbs need? I've never seen tulips surrounded by this narrow leafy greenery, they are not growing around the bulbs, but just randomly. As it's mixed trough, does their appearance signify busy bulbs below the surface?

Thanks for any advice.

shovetheholly Thu 26-Jan-17 12:34:24

Like lots of bulbs, tulips will produce leaves before they produce flowers. Because the leaves basically are a power plant for the plant, adding to the energy store in the bulb itself, it's important not to cut them off!

I'm surprised that you describe them as narrow though - tulip leaves are sort of sword shaped and broad. It couldn't be weeds that have got into the pot could it? The other thing that is strange is that this time of year, tulip leaves are usually quite small, though it may be that your balcony is providing them with warmth and shelter so they will flower a bit earlier. Can you post a picture?

Lorelei76 Thu 26-Jan-17 14:26:04

hi shove, long time no see. <waves>

ah, weeds sound much more likely. These do not look anything like tulip leaves. I can try posting a picture when home but weeds sounds more likely.

if they are weeds would I snip them off or pull them out? If they are wrapped round bulbs I don't want to upset the bulbs by pulling them out.

shovetheholly Thu 26-Jan-17 14:32:28

If they are definitely weeds, you should be able to get them out without disturbing the tulips too much - chances are they will be more shallowly rooted. It sounds almost like some kind of grass sprouting in there?

One other thought - you couldn't have put in another load of bulbs that you've forgotten about, could you? I have allium roseum, and the leaves looks a bit like grass when they come through (and they are through now). They're also included in loads of free bulb offers.

Ferguson Thu 26-Jan-17 20:22:41

I'm surprised you say snowdrops are difficult to grow; we have thousands, and over the years have divided clumps and got 10 or 20 from each clump; but that is in the garden, not pots or troughs.

Chionodoxa might be another possibility :

And we have some pretty little bulbs, pale pink, but the name escapes me at the moment - I'll come back when I remember it!

Ferguson Thu 26-Jan-17 20:26:40

. . . and these are nice :

isthistoonosy Thu 26-Jan-17 20:32:54

I'm not a usual here but have you ever tried lettuce it goes to a nice flower with the bonus of edible leaves. Easy to grow although this time of year you may have to start them inside.

Lorelei76 Thu 26-Jan-17 20:52:10

Ferguson, I mean in pots, I was advised by many not to expect much from them in pots (planted from bulbs). Won't bore with details of balcony position.

Holly I think you're right, I will have a proper look at it at the weekend, weeds seem most likely. I don't want to waste nourishment from that pot on weeds, of course.


Lorelei76 Thu 26-Jan-17 20:53:21

PS def nothing else planted in there by mistake, I only put tulips in there. I suppose something might have just blown in, settled and seeded! And weeded...!

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