Planting Spring Bulbs

Planting bulbs is one of those garden jobs that brings great rewards for very little time and effort on your part. That said, if you want the reward of a Springtime splash of colour in your borders and patio pots in early Spring it is worth taking the time and trouble to plant your bulbs carefully, feed them and look after them.

You can still plant later flowering daffodils in November but if you’ve already done those then this is the month you should be planting those tulips that will bring such vivid colour to the end-of-winter garden. Ranging from bright scarlets to deep purples (sometimes referred to as black) and with a choice of elegant pointed blooms or blowsy fringed double petals, there is a great deal of fun to be had making your selections now, planting your bulbs carefully and waiting for the joy of that first bloom.

Your first job, even before you plant, is to make sure you only plant healthy bulbs so check those you have purchased and discard any that are soft to the touch or rotting. Plant your bulbs as soon after purchase as you can – bulbs that have been stored won’t flower as vigorously as those you can get into the ground or container compost as soon as they leave the garden centre or arrive in the post.

The good news about planting bulbs is that it really could not be easier but the key, as with all garden tasks, lies in preparation. Use this short guide to get started and then sit back and wait for the rewards of your efforts this month once those bulbs start flowering.

*Plant 25-50 individual bulbs to get a really impressive Springtime showing

*Measure the length of your bulb from the base to the tip and use this to work out the depth you need to plant which is up to three times this measurement. So a 5cm bulb needs to go 10-15cm below the top level of the soil. You can use a dibber to create the space you need to plant the bulb.

*Plant your bulbs with the shooting tip facing up and space them twice the bulb width apart so avoid overcrowding

*Replace the disturbed soil with the back of a rake and make sure nobody stands on the planted areas or the bulbs will get damaged

*If you are planting in containers, use a mix of three parts compost to one part grit, water your bulbs regularly and to get a really good flowering, once you spot the first shoots use a liquid tomato feed