Whilst Karen is neck deep in bulbs this week she asked me to write this month’s blog post. It definitely feels like Christmas here with box after box of bulbs arriving daily. I’ve never seen such an array that come spring they will be popping up left, right and centre showcasing a rainbow of colour.
I know what I’m talking about when it comes to growing vegetables but planting bulbs is new to me. I’m really lucky that when I come to work I can ask Karen any gardening question that’s had me puzzled all weekend and she’s always able to give me an answer as well as a lovely snippet of interesting knowledge about her past experiences. That’s what I love about gardening it always leads to conversation and no matter how long you’ve had green fingers for there is always something new to learn.
I felt like a kid in a sweet shop last night browsing through the new bulb catalogue. Top of my list are some of the new varieties Bellevalia paradox ‘Green Pearl’, Narcissus ‘White Lion’ and the late flowering tulip ‘James Last’ for its dusky appearance, I could go on.
If like me you don’t know where to begin with planting bulbs here are some of Karen’s top tips and the best cleaning tricks which will keep us on track. Or if you need a little more help book yourself on to next months Spring pots & containers course to discover how to display an array of bulbs to keep you entertained throughout the year.
- Autumn is the best time for planting spring and summer bulbs but if you miss this window then get them in as soon as possible, they will just flower a little later.
- Narcissi put roots down early so begin with these. Tulips however need a soil temperature of below 10degrees so you can wait until November.
- If you want to create naturalistic planting in drifts the best way to achieve this is to throw or roll the bulbs and plant exactly where they land. Don’t be tempted to move them even if they are close to each other.
- Mix old bits of soap and chilli flakes in to your compost to stop rodents eating your precious bulbs.
- The easiest way to know how deep to plant bulbs is to make sure the hole is three times the depth of the bulb.
- Try planting a bulb ‘lasagne’ in a large planter with larger later-flowering bulbs at the base, daffodils in the middle and smaller bulbs such as Muscari at the top.
- Tulips and hyacinths are antisocial and like to be planted with space around them compared to other bulbs who love to socialise.
- Fritillaria and Camassia’s will thrive in damp conditions but most other bulbs like well-drained soil.