Warm to energy saving bulbs...
Go for easy options in autumn and enjoy a blast of colour when spring comes
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.