Spring Flowering Bulbs - A Quick Guide
Spring flowering bulbs are more than a gap-filler while you’re waiting for your perennial plants to come through! Many gardeners plan well in advance for this time of year and look forward to the day that their gardens begin to erupt with colour.
When To Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs
Spring bulbs are normally delivered and ready for planting from mid-September until the end of November, meaning you have plenty of time to plant your bulbs before the first signs of frost.
Generally, spring-flowering bulbs are well suited to a sunny patch in rich, well-draining soil. Bulbs are very simple to plant, but acquiring some garden hand tools such as a bulb planter will make the process even easier.
Most spring varieties like crocus and daffodil bulbs can be planted at a depth of three times their height, but tulip bulbs often benefit from planting a little deeper, approximately 20cm depending on bulb size. Although it’s recommended to plant each bulb a certain distance from the next, you can scatter them onto the soil and plant them in an irregular fashion for a more naturalised look.
Most bulbs are ideal for naturalising, simply choose a spot where the bulbs will remain undisturbed - in a shady corner, or at the base of a deciduous tree or shrub is ideal - and they will quickly multiply to create a carpet of plants that will delight you with a spectacular flower display year after year.
Grow Spring Bulbs For Cut Flowers
Fresh cut flowers can bring instant joy and colour to the home. However, shop-bought flowers (particularly from supermarkets) have likely been on a long journey before you even take them home and put them in a vase. Harvesting flowers from your own garden means a much longer vase life - and you’ll save yourself some money.
When growing cut flowers, the process of planting and maintaining the bulbs is the same as growing them for outdoor enjoyment. The secret is to cut the flowers when they've only just start to open and do so in the morning, as this is when they are most hydrated. This will give your flowers a fresh appearance and a long life inside your home.
For more information, take a look at our expert guide on growing spring-flowering bulbs.