Gardening: Francis Tophill advises on watering plants without a hose

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The majority of spring-flowering plants are planted in autumn, although this does depend on climate and seasonal temperatures. Bulbs need to be planted during September and October to ensure they are strong enough to survive next spring. Experts at Phostrogen® have shared how to plant in both borders and containers.

Select your bulbs

The experts explained: “There are many varieties and colours to choose from when it comes to planning your spring displays. 

“Early spring flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, will bring a welcome early injection of colour to the garden and will need planting before the end of September.

“For summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies and alliums, these should be planted in September and October. Tulips are a spring favourite, and can be planted later in the season up until the end of November.”

When purchasing bulbs, the experts recommended planting these as soon as possible. Prolonged storage will cause them to rot so this job should be done within a day of buying.

When looking for bulbs, Phostrogen® said: “A healthy bulb should be dry, with no leaves or roots beginning to grow before it is put in the ground.

“The longer you wait to plant them, the more likely it is that they’ll struggle to flower next season.”

Planting in borders

Before planting, the experts recommended preparing the soil by turning it over, removing any debris and adding organic matter.

Once it is ready for the bulbs, simply dig a hole wide and deep enough for the bulb.

Plants to deter rats from your garden – ‘offensive’ and ‘repulsive’ [EXPERT]
5 steps to ensure your peace lily houseplant thrives ahead of winter [INSIGHT]
Simple home updates to ‘add value’ and ‘make your home more appealing’ [EXPLAINER]

The experts added: “Most bulbs need to be planted two to three times their own depth, but always check the instructions. Place the bulbs in the hole flat end down, so that the point is upwards, as that’s where the stem will grow from.

“Generally you should plant bulbs in groups of no less than six so that the display looks impressive. It’s best to position them grouped in a bunch rather than a straight line.

“Then simply replace the soil, gently firming it down with your hand and generously watering. Your bulbs won’t require any fertiliser during their dormant state, but you should feed them once with a high-potassium feeder when planted, and again when you start to see shoots appearing at half strength every seven to 10 days.”

Planting in containers

According to the plant experts, bulbs with larger, extravagant flowers work well in containers as they can deliver a “concentrated” burst of colour in the garden.

They explained: “You can get away with planting bulbs closer together in pots and containers, and we recommend using a lasagne technique to layer different types of bulbs which will flower at different points in the season.”

Gardeners should plant the bulbs that will flower last at the bottom of the pot and the earliest flowering one at the top.

Phostrogen® added: “This will ensure you always have a riot of colour on display.”

It’s easy to forget about bulbs, especially as the weather gets cooler and blooms disappear from gardens.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), gardeners shouldn’t panic if they do miss the planting window.

They explained: “The best thing to do is get them in the ground or potted up as soon as you can. If you leave them until autumn or the correct time, they’ll simply have deteriorated further.

“Of course, discard any that are soft or rotten first but the remainder are worth a go, even if they have started to sprout. Some bulbs store longer than others so it will be a bit hit and miss.

“If you are replying on a display maybe top up with potted bulbs from the garden centre.”

Source: Read Full Article