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Bulb fertilizer usually not needed for first season

Here's advice from the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center: "Bone meal was an excellent fertilizer, but times have changed! Most bone meal today has been literally boiled out. Spring flowering bulbs actually need no fertilizer for their first season of blooming. Healthy bulbs already contain all the food needed to support one spectacular season of growth. Bulbs that are left in the ground to naturalize will benefit from applications of rotted cow manure or special bulb fertilizer when the shoots first appear in the spring and again in the fall."

Rembrandt tulips are no longer available. They are illegal to grow because the disease they carry can spread to other bulbs, but hybridizers have exquisite look-alike flowers that don't have the virus. Genetically stable flamed "look-alikes" (hybrids that duplicate the famous bicolor, broken-stripe look) are available. The original, broken-stripe tulips are no longer cultivated.

Thursday, Sept. 20: Learn about tulips, daffodils and other bulbs to brighten your spring landscape. "Bulbs, Planting for Spring Color" will be taught by Peter Lassig, director of horticulture at Temple Square, at Red Butte Garden from noon to 1:30 p.m. For more information call 801-581-4747.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 21-23: The Bonsai Club of Utah hosts its fall show "Life in Miniature" at Red Butte Garden visitors center. Ancient Art of Bonsai and collections from members of the club will be on display. Learn to create your own with the guidance of experts.