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Spring starts here! Spring flowering bulbs

Published: 13th September, 2017

Spring flowering bulbsIt’s difficult to think about winter being just around the corner, but the summer IS coming to an end and it’s time to start thinking Spring. Spring bulbs are now flooding into the stores and online outlets with hundreds of varieties to choose from and should be planted over the next two months for dazzling colour next spring.

  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, preferably by the end of September.
  • Plant tulips in November.
  • Plant hardy summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies, alliums and crocosmia, in September and October.

Spring bulbs need several weeks in the ground to get their root systems growing before the ground starts freezing. However, if the weather is too warm they may have time to sprout this season which would deplete some of the energy stored in the bulb, which it needs to get it through the winter. So, wait until this bout of warm weather is over and then you are good to go.

When buying your bulbs, reject any that are spindly, squishy or showing signs of mould. Equally don’t choose any that are already coming into growth. What you want is nice & firm, skin intact and no signs of any growth. Particularly small bulbs may not flower in their first year so aim for larger ones too.

Choose your patch. Most hardy bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, prefer a warm, sunny site with good drainage as they come from areas with dry summer climates. Dig in lots of compost or organic matter and if you have heavy clay oils add some horticultural grit to improve drainage. Bulbs should be planted in holes three to four times as deep as the height of the bulb. In general, go rather deeper than you may think necessary. You will do less harm by going too deep than too shallow. Daffodils for example may respond to shallow planting by not flowering.

Plant in groups of 10-20 or more, as the more bulbs that are grouped together, the more impressive the display. Place into the base of the hole with the pointed side up. If you are not sure which is the right way up, just plant the bulb on its side: its stem will find its own way up!

Mark the position of bulbs with labels. With plenty of autumn clearing ahead of you, the last thing you want is to plunge a fork into your just planted, brand new bulb collection…

More and more unusual bulbs are becoming available so visit your garden centre and be inspired. Henry Street has a magnificent range of spring bulbs now in with more varieties to follow over the next few weeks…








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