Now, we wonder what do we do with them after the blooms fade, the flower heads droop and the petals fall to the ground - without their flower bonnets, all those green leaves seem to be larger than life. The experts seem to think that we should leave the green for about six weeks until it decides to turn yellow and wither. This process will regenerate new growth for next spring, feeding the bulb through a process called photosynthesis.

So, long story short, don't cut down the green leaves for a bit. To give the garden a tidier look, some folks fold the green over and tie it into bundles. However, some experts disagree with this strategy - they say just leave them alone for six weeks.

Another strategy offered to generate a great re-bloom the following year is to dead-head the tulips and daffodils after their blooms are spent. The idea is to remove the wasted bloom to ensure the energy from the bulb doesn't go to making a seed. As you trim, cut off the entire stalk where the flower once bloomed.

It is also suggested that the bulbs be fertilized with an organic compost or special fertilizer after the blooms are spent. Fertilizing while they are in bloom will shorten the bloom life, so wait until they are finished blooming to feed them. One can check out what is made just for bulbs at the local nursery - it never hurts to consult an expert.

Those who are really ambitious in their care of their tulip and daffodil beds can dig them up and separate them each year. Usually a bulb will multiply into one big bulb and several smaller ones. Put the bulbs in a cool, dry place (such as the basement) ready to replant in the fall. Your harvest will garner you more bulbs than you originally planted, hence multiplying your bed for next year.

If you have integrated your bulbs into your flowerbeds you might consider digging them up rather than leaving them for another year. Evidently, bulbs like dry, well-drained soil in the summertime. However, most flowerbeds require watering to keep the summer flowers healthy.

Some tulips are labeled perennials and can be counted on to return year after year; however, even they will need to be dug up after a few years. If the bulbs get too crowded, they don't do as well - they like room to spread their roots.

While we are looking at the care of bulbs through the summer, consider what the local varmints might do to them. After all, if you are a squirrel or a rat, you will think these flower bulbs look like a tasty treat. Try to deter the pesky little critters from invading what they will consider your gourmet garden. There are websites out there that can inform you on how to deter these pests.

Tulips and daffodils are beautiful and relatively inexpensive, so if they don't make it through the year then purchase more and start again in the fall. It's not like 17th-century Holland where a bulb could cost as much as $44,000 because they were so rare. There are lots of deals out there, particularly now if you pre-order from some of the online nurseries.

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