Success With Bulbs

Bulbs are a seasonal favourite at Hello Hello. They can be used for naturalising along driveways, in lawns or under trees and look fantastic planted in clumps.

Here are Chris’ tips to growing beautiful flowering bulbs:

SIX STEPS TO A FLOWERY DISPLAY

1. Plant them the right way up.
2. Plant bulb twice as deep as its height.
3. Plant in well drained soils or pots.
4. Clump your bulbs together for effect.
5. Fertilise bulbs after flowering.
6. Separate bulbs every 2-3 years.

PLANTING YOUR BULBS

When to Plant: Bulbs should be planted when the first autumn rains start, from mid February to May.

Cold Treatment: Tulip bulbs need to be placed into the crisper of your fridge for 4 weeks before planting. Tulips require this cold treatment as part of their natural development process.

Which way do I plant my bulbs? As a general rule bulbs should be planted twice as deep as their size and the same distance apart, facing the pointed end of the bulb towards the sky. Anemones and ranunculus are an exception, their claws should face downward.

Situation: Bulbs like well-drained soils. If your soil is boggy, raise your garden bed or alternatively plant your bulbs into pots. If planting into pots, remember to keep them well watered. Incorporate well rotted manure into the soil. Bulbs grow best in sunny positions and benefit from mulching. Mulching keeps the bulbs cool and helps conserve water and reduce weeds.

Fertilising: After you have planted your bulbs top dress with blood and bone, Devotion™ Time Release Fertiliser or specially formulated bulb fertiliser. Give your bulbs a second feed after flowering.

Digging and Storing: When your bulbs have finished flowering they will draw the goodness out of their leaves. You will see this as yellowing of the leaves. They use these nutrients in the bulb to develop their flowers for the following year. Once your leaves have turned yellow you can dig your bulbs up. Gently loosen the soil with a fork and lift the bulbs out. Store your bulbs in a cool airy position.

HANDY HINTS

*Separate your bulbs every 3-5 years this prevents overcrowding and shy flowering.

*Water well. This will give you good long stemmed flowers.

*Top dress with fertilser after flowering. They will use this food for flower development the following year.

*When cool treating tulips don’t freeze them.

*Potted bulbs will flower less in the following year. Plant them out in your garden for a couple of years to allow the bulbs to increase in size. You can then dig them up and plant into pots.