Spring flowering bulbs can offer a brilliant display of colour, as long as they’re grown in the right area and in well prepared soil. The simple trick of the trade when it comes to growing large and healthy bulbs is providing them with rich and well drained soil, along with a balanced pH level. Having the right pH will feed the underground bulb, which will promote growth and an abundance of flowers.
Preparing your soil
Organic matter is a preference many bulbs share, so before you plant your spring flowering bulbs, make sure to dig in some compost. To ensure your bulbs grow to become healthy plants, good drainage is essential.
Tip: Digging in organic compost is essential if you have clay like soil.
Where to plant
Make sure you choose a site with good drainage or add sand or grit to the soil. The majority of hardy bulbs originate from the Mediterranean and so thrive in sunny positions with freely draining soil. When buying your spring flowering bulbs choose them according to location and soil type that best describes your garden.
Tip: Mix different varieties for a striking array of bright colours.
Spring flowering bulbs can make a valuable contribution to formal bedding displays when planted in a large group. It’s best to plant large varieties in a formal position as this can create a wow factor in the garden.
Tip: Grow groups of early flowering tulips in a bed, which will be occupied by annuals later in the summer.
Bulbs in pots
• Plant your bulbs in a container that is made up of three parts multi-purpose compost and one part grit.
• Plant three times their depth and one bulb width apart.
• Water bulbs regularly when in active growth.
• Reduce watering once the leaves start to die down and then through the dormant season. However, do keep checking your pots throughout winter, ensuring they don’t die of drought.
• Feed bulbs as soon as the shoots appear every seven to ten days with a fertiliser like liquid tomato feed.
Plant the label: Simply placing the bulb’s label in the ground will help you know what bulbs you have planted and where. This will ensure you don’t disturb your bulbs by planting another variety in the same spot.
Dividing your bulbs: Many bulbs spread during the growing season, so to ensure they’re never over crowded, it’s best to divide or move them when they enter their dormant period. This is usually just after the foliage completely dies back.
Spring Care: Cut back your bulbs once they’ve finished flowering. Don’t be scared, take the stems back to just above ground level and they’ll soon replace themselves. Resist the temptation to cut it back while still green, but floppy.