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1. Fertilize : Before planting, incorporate a complete
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1. Fertilize : Before planting, incorporate a complete 5-10-5 fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet by tilling it to a depth of 4 inches. (Fertilize again at twice that rate in the spring, when plants are in bloom.) This is also the time to incorporate compost to improve soil and drainage.(Credit: Newsday / Viorel Florescu)

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How to plant bulbs

Many home gardeners refer to any underground structure that isn't a fibrous or conical root system as a "bulb." Actually, bulbs are very specific things and shouldn't be confused with rhizomes, corms or tubers. Today, we're talking about true bulbs, among them amaryllis, daffodils, hyacinths, lilies, tulips, snowdrops and ornamental onions. Here are three steps to preparing a spring bulb garden. -- BY JESSICA DAMIANO