Notes on bulbs for autumn 2023
As we get into autumn now is the time to plant some spring bulbs
Planting garden bulbs in the autumn is a strategic and rewarding endeavour that sets the stage for a vibrant burst of colour in the spring. This process involves careful preparation, selection, and placement of bulbs to ensure a thriving and visually appealing garden. Here is a step-by-step guide to planting bulbs in the autumn for a stunning spring display:
- Selecting Bulbs:
- Choose high-quality bulbs from reputable suppliers or nurseries. Look for bulbs that are firm, plump, and free from signs of disease or damage.
- Choosing the Right Location:
- Identify suitable planting areas based on the specific requirements of the bulb varieties you have selected. Consider factors like sunlight exposure, soil type, and drainage.
- Preparing the Soil:
- Ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to bulb rot. Incorporate organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to enrich the soil and improve its structure.
- Digging Holes:
- Dig individual holes or trenches based on the planting depth recommended for each type of bulb. As a general rule of thumb, bulbs are typically planted at a depth that is three times their diameter.
- Spacing and Arrangement:
- Follow spacing guidelines provided for the specific bulbs you are planting. This will ensure that they have enough room to grow and flourish without overcrowding.
- Orientation and Positioning:
- Place bulbs with the pointed end (or “nose”) facing upwards. If in doubt, most bulbs will have visible roots or shoots that indicate the correct orientation.
- Planting the Bulbs:
- Gently place each bulb in its respective hole or trench. Be careful not to damage the bulb or its roots during this process.
- Covering and Mulching:
- Fill the holes with soil, gently firming it around the bulbs. Apply a layer of mulch (such as straw or bark chips) to help regulate soil temperature and moisture levels.
- Provide a thorough watering after planting to settle the soil and initiate root growth. However, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to bulb rot.
- Keep track of the types and locations of bulbs you have planted by labelling the areas. This will help you identify them in the spring.
Example of bulbs planted in the autumn to produce autumn colour
Early season flowering bulb planted in the ground or in pots with John Inness compost
Early season flowering one of the first spring bulbs to come into flower can be planted in pots flower beds or in groups in your lawn. In a lawn they should flower and die back before you need to mow the lawn fully in the spring.
Daffodil Tete a Tete
We tend to use daffodil Tete a Tete because they flower early and die back quicker leaving your borders and pots neater than the larger daffodil that take until mid summer to fully die back into the bulb.
Late spring flowering the small ones flowering earlier are suitable for pots and the larger ones for flower beds
A useful bulb for flowering later in the season can be purchased as plants but much cheaper to plant as bulbs in the autumn. Ideally you need to pick one that flowers and floats about your perennial flower such as Allium Powder Puff.
Planting is straight forward as a general rule plant two and a half time the size of the bulbs depth into the soil. In heavy clay soil dig in some grit or shape sand as you plant and once plants lightly sprinkle some Growmore fertilizer over the top of the bulbs.