Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On bulb planting

First of all, note that all spring-bulbs need to be planted now, so they can settle in and root before the onset of winter. But, to let the danger of the Tulip Fine disease pass, plant tulips in November.

When choosing your bulbs, make sure they are firm and have no holes, splits or other damage in the skin. Loose bulbs tend to be of better quality and have plenty of air circulating around them which will keep them clean and fresh.. The other advantage of loose bulbs is that you can pick them yourself and the bigger the better.

When planting your bulbs, note they like good drainage. So if your soil is clay or another sticky
mix, put some grit or sand into the planting hole first. Plant bulbs at twice or trice their size, thus a daffodil measuring 2” will have to be planted at a depth of 6”. For a natural effect scatter the bulbs by hand and plant them where they fall (nothing worse than regimental lines of daffs and crocuses, avoid at all cost).

If you are planting in borders, try to place the bulbs where their dying foliage will be hidden by plants that emerge in late spring.
Planting bulbs in lawns can give a lovely natural effect. To do this dig a U-shape with your spade/lawn edger and lift the sod at the bottom of the U. Plant regarding the size/depth of the bulb and replace the sod.
Choose early flowering species like Snowdrops, Crocus or an early Narcissus because you can’t mow the lawn there until the foliage dies back!
When planting bulbs in pots use any pot as long as they have good drainage and a depth of at least 8”-10”. First, empty and clean the pot, place stones over the drainage hole(s) and put a layer of compost in. Then place the larger bulbs, their pointy bits up and cover them with some more compost. A next layer of smaller bulbs comes in on top of that and cover again. On this the smallest bulbs, cover with compost, and then a layer of (possibly nice) grit. Water in well and wait…

Suggestion: bottom layer: Tulips; middle layer: Hyacinths; top layer: dwarf Narcissi.
Last but not least ensure that there is a succession of color from January to mid June. Have a look at the table below. Enjoy your bulbs!
Catriona Taylor
Flowering Times

Jan Snowdrops
Feb Crocus, Early Daffss
May Chinodoxa, Iris, Mid Daffs
Apr Bluebells, Hyacinths, Late Daffs
May Tulips, Hyacinths
Jun Allium / Freesia / Lilium

Planting plants and bulbs brings out the optimist in us all so heres hoping for a dry autumn and wonrerful spring.

Blessington Lakes Garden Centre

Good advice, great plants!

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6 packs Pansies, Wallflowers, Bellis and Cyclamen
Repotting Service
We will repot all your baskets and pots with winter flowering plants which last!

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