In search of some tips to help you make the most out of your spring bulbs? Then you’re in luck, we’ve got a slew of helpful notes to make bulb planting a breeze and have you looking forward to your spring and summer blooms. So lets start with the basics:
What Is A Bulb?
A bulb is essentially a “storage organ” for plants, as in, all the food they need is concentrated in a compact, bulb-shaped mass. To put it simply, flower bulbs are just neatly bundled packages that are uniquely programmed with everything they need to grow and bloom on their own. And usually most of them can be planted just about anywhere.
Are Bulbs Beginner Friendly?
Bulbs are an absolutely great beginning for gardeners because they don’t need special growing techniques or knowledge, which may be a load off the mind of some of our more nervous first-timers. Since the nutrients are stored in the bulb, excessive soil preparation isn’t really all that necessary. The hardest part might genuinely be figuring out which way to orient the bulb when you plant. For this reason, we would actually recommend big bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and alliums because the larger the bulb size, the more obvious the roots, which can really help beginners recognise which side is up. Of those three, daffodils and alliums have the longest-lasting blooms but nonetheless heat and/or rain can shorten their flowers’ life span.
When Should I Start Planting?
If you want to garden like the pros, then really you should plant your bulbs in Autumn, usually about six weeks before your area’s first proper cold spell sets in. Another good way to determine the ideal time for bulb planting is to check your patio thermometer. When the temperature starts dropping significantly during the night, it’s time to get those bulbs down and in the ground.
But if you get delayed or simply preoccupied, don’t worry, you may still plant your bulbs in the winter, so long as you can still reasonably dig into the ground. In some areas of the country, there might be too much snow and frozen ground to be able to plant bulbs, but as long as you can dig a sufficient hole with your shovel, with a little extra care and attention it might still work.
How Many Should Be Planted Together?
To avoid the quite sparse and empty look of a lone tulip head swaying in the breeze or a single row of spaced-out alliums, you can potentially plant in a scatter pattern, rather than rows and plant them just a little closer than the instructions might recommend. For specific bulbs, if you want them to emerge looking like a bouquet of flowers then;
For allium, you plant them in threes,
For daffodils and tulips, ten to twelve in a group is best. Many like when they emerge in large bunches, swaths or drifts of blooms, so if the flowers planted in this way will be beautiful. For daffodils and tulips, depending on the type you may only need to give them two to three inches apart, to achieve this effect.
For crocus and minor bulbs such as eranthis, plant them in groups very close together for that incredible display in spring.
How Do I Get The Best Bloom Possible?
Most bulbs will tend to prefer a warm, sunny site with good drainage as they come from areas with dry summer climates. Beyond that maybe consider adding bulb food in the hole before you plant. It isn’t entirely necessary but might produce larger blooms for a longer period. Water your bulbs when possible after planting. If there’s heavy rain in the fall, you don’t need to worry about watering, but if there’s a very dry spell, then that would be a great time to break out the old watering can and do a little maintenance.