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Still not too late to plant your spring bulbs, says Gayton-based gardener





In his weekly Jamie’s Little Allotment column, Jamie Marsh discusses planting spring bulbs...

As we near the shortest day, and all of us gardeners are willing it to stop raining, I need to turn my attention to my spring bulbs.

As you can probably guess, I’m not in the allotment this week, I’m in the garden instead.

Planting spring bulbs
Planting spring bulbs

I’ve had several people say to me: “I haven’t planted my bulbs yet, am I too late?”

If you haven’t already planted your spring bulbs, fear not – it’s not too late to infuse your garden with vibrant hues.

The planting dates on the packaging of your bulbs are for optimal growing, but as long as it’s not too far into the new year, I think they should all grow fine, and as I have done this several times I speak from experience.

Some of the most popular bulb choices are daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths – these are the timeless classics. For a naturalised look, consider smaller bulbs like snowdrops or grape hyacinths.

The majority of bulbs thrive in well-draining soil, so maybe add some grit to the soil and plenty of organic matter, such as compost, to provide essential nutrients.

Different bulbs require varying planting depths. As a general rule, plant bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height. Deeper for larger bulbs like tulips and shallower for smaller ones like crocuses.

Give the bulbs ample space to grow. Follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each type of bulb to prevent overcrowding and competition for nutrients.

Use a trowel or bulb planter to dig individual holes or create larger planting beds for a mass display.

Plant bulbs in clusters rather than in straight lines for a more natural and visually appealing look.

For extended blooming periods, consider planting bulbs with different bloom times in layers. Place late-blooming bulbs deeper beneath early bloomers.

Most spring bulbs prefer full to partial sunlight. Ideally, choose locations that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day for optimal flowering.

Ensure the chosen site has well-drained soil to prevent waterlogged conditions, which can lead to bulb rot.

Some bulbs, like daffodils and snowdrops, can thrive beneath deciduous trees or shrubs where they receive sunlight before the trees fully leaf out.

While autumn is the traditional time for bulb planting, spring planting is a viable option, especially for bulbs that don’t require a chilling period. Nurseries often offer pre-chilled bulbs for spring planting. Just be sure to get them in the ground before the soil becomes too warm.

In conclusion, the beauty of spring bulbs lies not only in their captivating colours but also in the joy they bring to gardeners. With a little planning and care, you can still enjoy a spectacular spring display by planting bulbs now. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening tools, and let the countdown to a blooming paradise begin.



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