Warm to en­ergy sav­ing bulbs...

Go for easy op­tions in au­tumn and en­joy a blast of colour when spring comes

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - David Domoney With David Domoney

We’ve had an amazing In­dian sum­mer but cen­tral heat­ing units are now com­ing on all over the coun­try as the nights draw in. De­spite the dark evenings and driz­zly, cold weather, au­tumn is the best time for plant­ing bulbs.

And noth­ing lifts the spir­its af­ter a long win­ter than the sight of the first spring flow­ers. A bit of colour burstin g forth in your gar­den just as the frosts start to fade is a fan­tas­tic way to wel­come the new gar­den­ing sea­son.

But to get the op­ti­mum ef­fect, it’s im­por­tant to plant bulbs while the soil is still warm – now.

Do­ing so will help them de­velop a small root sys­tem be­fore it gets re­ally cold, which al­lows them to flower ear­lier than other plants.

Bulbs are en­ergy pow­er­houses that bloom year af­ter year. They store the en­ergy like a bat­tery over win­ter then erupt into flower in spring.

They are fool­proof plants – hardly any­thing can go wrong with them. Plant them too deep, too shal­low or even side­ways and they will al­most cer­tainly still flower come spring.

They are also a great in­vest­ment. If cared for, they will spread and give you more plants and flow­ers every year.

Bulbs are ver­sa­tile. They work hard in bor­ders to fill gaps around flow­ers and shrubs. They grow up through lawns– they look stun­ning around the base of trees – and are ex­cel­lent in con­tain­ers in­doors or out­doors.

They re­ally are some of the eas­i­est gar­den plants to grow. So get them in the ground now and let na­ture get on with it over win­ter. Bulbs are not that fussy. But they will flower bet­ter if you give them the right con­di­tions.

Bulbs are not that fussy. But they will flower bet­ter if you give them the right con­di­tions.

Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil – the only thing bulbs can’t stand is ex­cess wa­ter as it makes them rot.

Most like to be planted two to three times as deep as they are tall. Once you have dug your hole, line the base with a layer of grit or sand.

Then plant the bulb us­ing the light bulb tech­nique – push and twist it into the soil as if you’re stick­ing a bay­o­net bulb into your light fit­ting.

If you sim­ply place the bulb in the hole with­out any pres­sure, you could leave a gap where rain­wa­ter will col­lect and start to rot away at it.

Make sure you plant the bulb the right way up. If in doubt, plant side­ways. It will still work that way.

Space the bulbs about two widths apart for op­ti­mum spread to give their fo­liage space.

If you have trou­ble with squir­rels dig­ging them up as a snack, grate a lit­tle soap over the bulb to de­ter them. Then fill in with soil and wa­ter in.


Anemone blanda


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