Spring Flowering Bulbs
Now is the time to start buying your selection of spring flowering bulbs. I am always delighted when boxes packed full of bulbs start to arrive. And isn’t it fascinating how a dull, brown, papery bulb can become the most beautiful, eagerly awaited bloom?
Sarah Raven has a beautiful range to choose from whether you want bulbs for pots, or naturalising or for the borders click here for their spring flowering bulb selection.
Pots of daffodils, tulip displays, naturalised fritillaries and crocus and tiny white snowdrops are the harbingers of spring. They indicate that winter is on its way out and we can look forward to brighter, longer days. Gardens come alive with colour and movement once more.
When Should You Plant Spring Bulbs?
Spring bulbs can be ordered anytime from August onwards. They are available to buy in stores now. It is best to order online early because you then have the best choice. Most retailers start delivering them from September.
Spring bulbs prefer to be planted into cool soil. Plant them anytime from September to before the ground freezes.
Which Spring Bulbs Should You Choose?
When deciding which spring bulbs to choose, it really is a matter of your own preferences, as with any plants.
In order to have spring colour from as early in the year as possible and to prolong your display, choose bulbs that will give you a variety of flowering times.
Crocus and snowdrops can bloom as early as January and February, followed by daffodils, Narcissus, hyacinths and tulips. Read further ideas for Plants For Spring Colour
There is such a huge variety, it really is your choice as to which ones you want to grow. A swathe of daffodils in shades from vibrant golden yellows to pale lemon and cream. Or a bank of tulips in any colour you could possibly want. Most suppliers now sell pack of bulbs in particular colours and shades so you don’t have to think about which colours go well together.
Spring Bulb Planting Requirements
Spring flowering bulbs are planted in Autumn when the soil is cool, easily worked and hopefully not too wet. They can be planted right into December for spring flowering displays.
Bulbs that come into flower in early spring are usually suited to both sun and partial shade. Planted under trees they will flower and die back before trees become fully greened up.
Spring-blooming bulbs are very adaptable and not too fussy about soil type.
However, bulbs perform best when planted in well drained, loose soil.
To improve drainage add a good mix of compost with added grit. Check here for best compost.
Avoid areas that may become waterlogged.
Dead head after flowering but leave the foliage to die back. This gives the bulbs a natural feed and ensures they stay healthy for next year. Bulbs can either be lifted and stored in a cool place or they can be left in the ground. If you are planting in pots then it is usual for the bulbs to be lifted and stored so that you can use the pots for further planting schemes.
Planting Spring Bulbs in Pots
Even the smallest garden or space can have colour from spring bulbs and using pots and containers could not be easier. Shop here for a wide selection of bulbs.
Use pots and containers to enhance patios, balconies and your windowsills.
First of all choose a container that is deep enough and large enough to hold the compost and your bulbs, giving a good planting depth.
Your pot needs to have drainage holes and should be frost proof.
Place the pot on pot feet to raise it off a solid, cold surface. This helps to prevent frost damage and water logging.
Place some broken crocks in the bottom and add a good quality growing compost with some added grit.
Different bulbs require different depths of planting. Always refer to the guide on the bulb packet.
Also I’ve included this handy chart that gives you bulb depth and bulb spacing.
Add about three inches of compost then place your bulbs. You can add several layers of different bulbs with the largest ones to the bottom. This gives you a longer flowering time and a really good, interesting, colourful display.
Add a final layer of compost with the bulb tips just below the surface.
Planting bulbs is also a great gardening idea for children, let them choose their bulbs as this gives them added interest and encouragement. They will be eager to plant them and see them start to grow.
Let’s have a glorious show of spring flowering bulbs in our gardens, yards, pots and on balconies and windowsills. After a cold, dull winter nothing brightens the day more than a diverse, colourful variety of flowers. Gardeners always have to plan well ahead for each season in order to have a blooming beautiful outdoor space, but have a read here for other jobs to be doing in your garden this August.
If you’re of a mind to visit the Dutch Bulb Fields next spring, read here for further information.
I would love to see photos of the spring bulbs you grow, so let’s share them on social media or pop your photos in the comments box below.
Here’s to a colourful spring show.