What do you know about bulbs? Perhaps you’re new to bulb planting and you want to get a headstart on your autumn gardening to make sure that your slice of backyard paradise is thriving in spring! Whatever your expertise level, here are some handy tips that will tell you everything you need to know to grow thriving bulb plants in your garden.
1. Bulbs are easy to grow!
If you’re a beginner gardener, or you’re just new to bulb planting, you’ll be pleased to know that bulbs are extremely easy to grow because they contain all the goodness they need to in order to flourish. It just needs to be planted into a growing medium (soil!) and watered!
2. Bulbs should be dry and undamaged when you receive them
If you’re buying bulbs by mail order, make sure to check them when they’re delivered. Are they wet? Are they damaged? If so, this may affect the bulb’s growing potential.
If some of the sheath (the thin outer layer) has fallen away from bulb, don’t worry, this is normal.
3. Bulbs should be stored well
Once you’ve received and check your bulbs, store them in a cool, dark, dry place until you’re ready to plant them.
4. Different planting times work for different bulb plants
September and October are great for planting daffodils, hyacinths and crocus. But tulips can be left until November when the soil is cooler and there is less chance of viruses.
5. Bulbs are versatile!
Plant them in containers, borders and beds to brighten up your garden!
6. Soil should be ‘improved’ before planting
Improving your soil means breaking it up and adding compost and other materials such as gravel to it in order to improve fertility and drainage. You should do this before planting bulbs, as they are very sensitive to waterlogging.
7. Bulbs should be planted at a certain depth
It’s easy to remember! For most bulbs, plant them at a depth of three times their own height.
8. Close planting provides support
Usually, the advice is to plant bulbs five or six inches away from each other. However, they can be planted closer together in order to provide support when the stems become long.
9. Don’t do anything to your bulbs in autumn
You don’t need to water your bulbs in autumn, apart from watering them in when they’re first planted. In fact, it’s best if you ignore them until spring! Make sure to use labels, however, as you don’t want to forget about them and plant something else on top!
10. Bulbs plants are best left to die away naturally
At the end of the season, leave the foliage on your bulb plants to go yellow and die away naturally, as this will feed the bulbs for next season. You can then just leave them in the soil for the next season.
11. There’s always something new!
You don’t have to stick to the same old plants! New bulb varieties are released every year, so there are plenty of colours, shapes and sizes to choose from!
Have you tried lasagne planting?
Lasagne planting involves planting bulbs in layers (like a lasagne) so that you can fit more bulbs into a smaller space, while also getting the benefit of a longer flowering period.
Here’s how to do it:
Want to find out more about lasagne planting? Watch my video below:
Four bulb container recipes
Designer Pot 1 – Colour Explosion
Designer Pot 2 – Serenity
Designer Pot 3 – Sultry and Sexy
You’ll also need…
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.