Planting spring and summer flowering bulbs is a quick and easy way to get your garden ready for the warmer months. You don't need a big garden as these bulbs thrive just as well in containers. So as spring approaches it's time to head outdoors and prepare your garden for summer blooms. Check out our complete guide on what to plant, when and where to grow and how to plant.
Types of bulbs
Spring bulbs: Also know as hardy bulbs, bring a splash of colour to your garden. Growing in the ground in winter and flowering above ground in the spring. Spring bulbs include tulips, irises, daffodils, hyacinth, allium, bluebells and crocus.
Summer bulbs: Can be know as tender bulbs too and are not tolerant of cold temperatures. They grow in the ground during spring when the ground warms up and flower or leaf in the summer months. Common summer bulbs include gladiolus, lilies, dahlias, eucomis, freesia and begonia.
When to plant
Spring bulbs depending on the variety should ideally be planted September to early January. In contrast summer bulbs should be planted from March to June.
Where to plant
As long as you ensure your plants have the sunlight they need and good drainage, you can pretty much plant them anywhere. Drainage is important to stop your bulbs from rotting, so be sure to use free-draining soil.
Plants that require a lot of sun, need around 6 hours of sunlight a day and therefore should be placed in a south or west facing position.
Shade-loving plants should be grown in pots placed in the shade to stop the cold and winds from harming them. Placing containers near walls, fences and hedges are all good options.
Plan before you plant
Bulbs can be grown in many ways but be sure to plan carefully and be strategic throughout beds, boarder and containers.
- Plant in groups and clusters to maximise visual impact
- Take bloom time into consideration, use a mix of early, mid and late season bloomers
- Layer plant heights from front to back when planting varieties which will bloom at the same time
- If you’re short on space many bulbs (including vegetables) are perfect for planting in containers. Take a look at our Create A Container Garden guide.
How to plant bulbs
- Dig individual holes for each bulb, make sure the holes are not too deep and don’t push down too hard. Make sure the shoot is pointing upwards.
Top Tip: When planting the general rule of thumb is to plant 2-3 times the dept of the bulb itself and with enough width between bulbs for them to grow.
- Cover with soil and a loose layer of mulch.
Top Tip: Prepare the soil beforehand by loosening and mixing in organic material for added nutrients or to improve drainage.
- Water well to help the new bulbs settle in.
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