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Planting Your Spring Bulbs
Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 1:54 pm
Spring bulbs are nature's firework display. Plant them, sit back and wait for the explosion of colour in spring.
Late summer or early autumn is usually the ideal time to plant most varieties, except tulips which benefit from planting between mid and late autumn. A trip to your supplier or garden centre should produce a wide selection of bulbs pick-and-mix type boxes, including daffodil, crocus, hyacinth, fritillaria and iris. A splash of spring colour
How to buy

When buying bulbs check to see that they're healthy or you spring explosion of colour will turn into a disappointing fizz. The best bulbs are firm and full bodied with no damage or premature growth.

It’s best to discard soft, shrivelled up, battered or mouldy bulbs from the pick and mix box. It is a little more difficult to gauge the quality of pre-packed bulbs, but have a good feel of the contents through the bag and put it back on the shelf if any feel squishy.

When buying from a mail-order supplier; on arrival open up the packet and check out the contents immediately. If you're not happy with the quality, phone and ask for a replacement to be sent out.

Where to plant

Bulbs are phenomenally versatile and can be planted virtually anywhere, in the border, naturalised into grass or grown in pots. Low-growing bulbs do well in all sorts of containers.

Either plant single varieties in pots filled with bulb fibre from your garden centre, or break the mould and layer different bulb types in one container. For best results choose flowers that appear at the same time (which may take a little practice).

After planting, protect from foraging animals such as squirrels by placing a little chicken wire over the top. It may not look pretty but it will save the bulbs from being disturbed and can be removed when growth begins to appear in late winter.

Around the garden, bulbs are ideal for growing in beds to plug gaps in a border, while crocus, dwarf daffodils and snowdrops can also be naturalised into your lawn.

When initially planting avoid rows and to make it look as if the bulbs have grown naturally by dropping a handful from waist height and plant them where they land, repeating in several areas across your or beds or lawn.

Planting tips

A hand trowel is adequate for planting a few bulbs, but if you need to plant a large sack of bulbs, it's worth buying a long handled bulb planting tool. These make light work of planting, and help if you suffer from a bad back. To use, simply push into the ground, twist and pull out a core of soil. Drop in the bulb and crumble the plug of soil to fill the hole.

If you're naturalising in a lawn, put the cap of turf back on top. Some planters have markers on to help get the planting depth right but in general, most varieties need a hole depth three times the size of the bulb.

Always plant the bulbs upwards, if you are in any way unsure which end is “up” then it’s better to plant the bulb on its side!

Some of our spring bulbs
Just some of our bulbs!

Trade discount for professional gardners.

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Opening Times:  March to December: Monday to Saturday - 8am - 6pm  |  January & February: Monday to Saturday - 8am - 5pm  |  Sunday's 10am - 4pm All year
Please note: We are closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday
We close early (3pm) on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.


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