Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs
The most important thing to remember when planting any bulbs is to have good drainage. Bulbs may rot if the soil becomes sodden and waterlogged.
The depth of the bulb should be two to three times the length of the bulb itself. However, if planting into pots plant deeper to stop the bulbs from drying out. Generally plant the bulbs 3 times the width of the bulb apart or further apart if you’re naturalizing large areas. This allows room for the bulbs to multiply, but is dependent on the display that you want to achieve.
Loosen the soil inside the hole to help the roots grow more easily.
Bulbs are planted with the tip pointing upwards. Bluebells are planted with the hollow facing upwards.
There are many fertilisers and bulb growth products available, however, normally your soil will be fine and will not require fertilizer but in exceptional circumstances just a sprinkle of ‘blood and bone’ will do just as good as more expensive products.
Gently replace the soil being careful not to displace the bulbs. Then let nature do the rest and wait for your spring delight!
Note: If you are waiting to plant your bulbs open the bags to allow air to get around them so they can breathe. Store them out of direct sunlight, e.g., in your garage.
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Planting your Lily Bulbs
They need to be planted in well-drained soil in full sun or with only partial shade.
Oriental Lilies are planted with the point facing up.
They should be planted with approximately 10cm of soil above the bulb. Loosen the soil to a depth of 30cm, this is to ensure the bulb develops a good root system to stabilise the plant.
Lilies should be spaced at least 3 times the width of the bulb apart.
Your lily bulbs are best to be planted now. It is important not to let the bulbs dry out before planting.
Ideally, the ground should be covered in mulch or a ground cover to keep the roots cool.
Should you wish you could add compost to the soil.
You can put a stake next to the lily at planting time. As the lily grows, secure it to the stake as necessary.
Apply Blood and Bone fertiliser or a general purpose fertiliser at planting time (work into the planting area) Every few months side-dress with bulb food or a slow release fertiliser to assist with flowering. Do not use manure.
It is important to keep the lilies watered.
After flowering ensure that you let the leaves brown off naturally before cutting off at ground level. This is to ensure a healthy bulb for next seasons flowering as this draws nutrients into the bulb.
Lilies make great cut flowers – it is important that if you do pick your lilies you leave at least 1/3 of the stem with leaves for the bulb to get the nutrients it needs for flowering next season.
Your lilies are happy to be left in the same position in the garden for years, ideally 4-5 years.
Planting into a pot
Lilies also do well in pots. Use a good potting mix when planting into pots.
Every 3 years they like to be re-potted with fresh potting mix.
Do not use garden soil in the pots.
Choose a large pot with good drainage.
Fertilise every year and water regularly.
Dahlia Planting Guide
Dahlias perform best when planted in a bright, sunny spot with free draining fertile soil. For heavy clay soils, mixing in sand should help with root growth and aeration.
Dahlia tubers should be planted after the last winter frost, with the tuber partially exposed to the light.
The soil should be fully loosened in the hole to twice the root ball depth to ensure easy root growth, the growing eyes should face upwards with a light covering of soil, make sure all roots are covered with soil and are facing down and away.
Dahlias may require stake support.
If planting as a hedge, they will be able to grow with each other. Plant the dahlias height distance between each plant. 1meter tall dahlias should be planted 1 meter apart.
Dahlias perform quite well with low amounts of water which prevents the tuber from rotting. Dahlias are often considered to do best being left alone with 6-8 hours of sun a day.
When each flower dies, beheading the stem encourages new growth and more flowering from the plant for the season.
When dahlias die down at the end of season, please wait until all shoots are dead before trimming foliage, this allows all nutrients for the plant to be stored in the tuber for the next seasons growth.
Gladioli Planting Guide
Gladioli corms should be planted near the end of the seasons frost period.
The corm should be planted in moderately fertile, light, free draining soil. They prefer to be in full, direct sunlight.
Loosen the soil until 20cm deep then plant the corm at approximately 10cm deep with the point facing upwards, then cover well without compacting the soil on top. Adding compost or Blood and Bone fertiliser during its growth period can encourage healthier blooms if the soil is deficient.
They create more impact when planted in clusters of corms, about 10 cm apart, this will create a bright statement of colour in the garden.
Tall Gladiolus varieties may need extra support with stakes, but shorter varieties will perform fine without any. Keep the soil moist during periods of growth, this allows the flower to continue its flowering period.
At the end of the season, allow the stem to naturally die down before cutting it off at a finger length height.
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