PAYS TO PLAN FOR BLOOMS

BULBS ARE ONE OF NA­TURE’S FLOW­ER­ING WON­DERS, AND PLANTING THEM IN POTS MEANS YOU HAVE A MO­BILE GAR­DEN

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | GARDEN - WORDS: MA­REE CUR­RAN

If you love the idea of hav­ing pots brim­ming with daf­fodils or tulips in spring­time, then you need to start creat­ing that look now.

I al­ways think it’s best to get the bulbs early in the sea­son, and then pop them in the fridge for a few weeks be­fore planting in mid­late April.

This spell in the fridge sim­u­lates a much colder win­ter than we are likely to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Some va­ri­eties of bulbs don’t mind our milder con­di­tions, but tulips and hy­acinths es­pe­cially seem to ap­pre­ci­ate the chill­ing.

Freesias, daf­fodils, jon­quils and ix­ias will be suc­cess­ful even with­out it.

A drop-dead gor­geous pot­ted bulb dis­play is a num­bers game. You need to re­ally cram those bulbs in, ideally in two or three lay­ers in a pot, to cre­ate a re­ally lux­u­ri­ous show.

Or go to the other end of the spec­trum and cre­ate a min­i­mal­ist look with a few sim­ple pots each con­tain­ing a sin­gle bulb.

When you are planting bulbs in pots you can put them much closer to­gether than you would if you were planting them in the ground; they can be al­most touch­ing each other.

The most im­por­tant thing is to use a pre­mium pot­ting mix, and to plant them deep enough, at least two or three times the height of the bulb.

Hy­acinths are the ex­cep­tion — these will flower even if the bulbs are not fully buried.

In fact, you can grow a hy­acinth bulb in the fridge in a vase with a neck that holds the bulb up above the wa­ter.

It can stay in the fridge un­til the flower bud forms.

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