Our spring flowering bulbs will be arriving into the Garden centres just in time for the Bank Holiday Weekend (25th August). Buying your spring bulbs early ensures that you will get the best selection! Plant your bulbs soon for the best growth possible come March and April and a stunning display of flowers. Read our tips on planting spring flowering bulbs below and the specific care advice for some of our favourites including daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.
* Choose where to plant your bulbs. Most spring bulbs flourish in sun however some such as snowdrops need some shading. Read below for the growing requirements of our favourite spring bulbs.
* Drainage; the spot that you have chosen also needs to have good drainage. Bulbs will rot if they are left in wet soil.
* Weed! Also loosen out your soil and mix in a layer of compost.
* Space them out. The go to spacing for bulbs is around two bulbs width between them. This will create a lovely busy display without having a detrimental effect on their growth!
* Plant the right way up! Put the pointed part facing up as this is the stem. Sometimes you cant see this clearly so the common thing to do is plant the bulb sideways.
* Plant deep. Bulbs need to planted deep, we recommend digging holes between 3-4 times the size of the bulb
* Add in some good quality compost to your soil to promote the best growth possible
* A good watering is a good idea as it will squish air pockets that threaten to dry out your bulbs.
* Mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting!
* Had problems with your bulbs being eaten before? You can try and put caging around your bulbs; even when they are in a group. The roots and stems can easily grow through this. Alternatively you may try using holly in the planting holes or even crushed gravel.
* Try something new; do you normally plant your bulbs in rows or formulaically? In fact people often think that bulbs look even better in random clumps. Why not try a really random approach and throw your bulbs in the air and plant them exactly where they fall?
– Tulips are one of our favourites simply because they symbolise spring! The range of bright colours makes tulips the perfect bulb for every garden.
– Plant October/November.
– Tulips can cope with either full or partial sun
– Tulips only need watering if there hasn’t been rain for a week. Before deciding that they need watering check the top layer of soil, it has to be dry to need watering. Tulips are hugely sensitive to rotting so take care with watering. Don’t water after the ground has frozen.
– Once flowers come through in the spring, feed your tulips with a quality feed and water them thoroughly. Hey will also need to be deadheaded but this only applies to the flowers; never the leaves.
– Daffodils are a brilliant spring flower and are also easy to grow.
– Plant these anytime from September- November.
– They also require well drained soil and partial or full sun; never plant them in full shade.
– To avoid the problem of daffodils growing ‘blind’ (a plant with only leaves and no flowers) take care to plant them deep enough and far enough away from each other to prevent overcrowding.
– In spring a high potash fertiliser such as Tomorite can be added if the growth is disappointing. Deadhead daffodil flowers as they fade.
– When cutting daffodils keep them in a vase alone; they release a fluid that is harmful to other flowers and will cause them
– These are renowned for being tolerant bulbs so they can take most kinds of soil and either full sun or partial shade.
– These can be from August through to November.
– Dead head the flowers when they come through but again leave the leaves and foliage for at least a month to help next years growth.
– Another great spring bulb that is brilliant ‘en masse’ and creates a vibrant flower carpet.
– Plant between October and December.
– Again they require well drained soil as they will rot in any soggy soil.
– Mulch the beds and remove this around February.
– Keep them watered through any dry spells but never waterlog them.
– These also require well drained soil and flourish in rich organic matter so add plenty of compost.
– Snowdrops prefer a slightly shaded spot where the soil won’t fully dry out.
– Plant in October or November.
– These need well drained and fertile soil in full or partial sunlight.
– Once they have flowered cut back the flowers but allow the leaves to die off by themselves.
Forcing hyacinths indoors;
Hyacinths are a Christmas favourite and are often forced to grow indoors to flower in time for a lovely display. If you wish to do this follow these steps;
1. Half fill a pot with compost and don’t compact it
2. Place your bulbs on top, they can be close to eachother but don’t let them touch
3. Place more compost around the bulbs until only the tips of the bulbs are showing
4. Now compact the compost gently
5. Water them, being cautious not to overwater
6. Move to a dark and cool place to store ( a temperature around 7°C is ideal). This may be in a garage, shed or cellar. It’s important that you check on them often to make sure that they don’t dry out. They will probably take around 10 weeks in the cool.
7. As the shoots reach around 1 inch you can slwly increase temperature and light exposure. Then once they have reached 2.5 inches they can be brought inside. They are probably around 3 weeks away from flowering.
Aftercare for spring bulbs – why do i always have to leave the foliage to go brown?
We recommend leaving the leaves on any spring bulbs for as long as 6 weeks after flowering. Similarly we suggest trying to minimise the number of leaves you remove when cutting the flowers. This is because after flowering the bulbs begin to prepare for next year. The leaves are photosynthesising to create food for the bulb to store for next year. The more food they have for next year, the more successful their growth will be!