Bring color to your Garden with Bulbs:
They do call it the joys of spring; but what a delight it is when, Spring is in the air. The grass starts to grow: a good sign to start planting seeds and vegetables; there is a beautiful smell in the air and there are snowdrops, crocus and daffodils popping up, bringing a smile to your face.
Tools for the Job:
There are many implements available for planting bulbs in your garden but essentially thay are either, sharp sticks known as dibbers or cork screw types known as augers. There are long and short handled pnes, drill attachments and wider hollow varieties aptly known as bulb planters. These are designed to make the simple task of digging a hole easier. If you are able simply get on your hands and knees and dig.
Depth of the Hole:
The depth at which to plant a bulb is usually on the back of the packet, if they came in one. Generally speaking though the hole should be 3 times the width of the bulb. It is always best to keep their packet or write notes for future reference, especially when lifting for the winter or moving part of a naturalized area, where the bulbs are spreading over too much of the flower beds or lawn.
Removal of Weeds:
It is very important to remove weeds before preparing the holes for your bulbs especially where there are perennials with a large tap root, taking care to remove all the root. Otherwise sections left in the ground will become root cuttings and germinate. This can be achieved by using a fork, around the weed. gently pushing and pulling the fork towards you as you go around the weed. Then pinch the weed and gently pull and wiggle it while stabbing the soil with a pointed object and disturbing the soil until it pulls out with little force, don't yank at them.
Preparation of the soil to plant bulbs:
Although a bulb contains food within its structure for growth, it is important to realise it has roots and requires water, as demonstrated by the lovely onions opposite, drying out and getting ready for a yummie soup.
To give the roots something to initially grip hold of, provide less resistance for growth and help preserve water, you should dig the bulb hole deeper, once you loosen it with a fork you can use your hands to scrape out a circular tunnel underneath the bulb, which you can fill with dried out twigs, stones , crocks, green waste, leaves, etc then place the bulb in the hole and gently push compost around the bulb. Compost is best because it doesn't contain dormant weed seeds and provides an unrestricted medium for the bulbs stem to push upwards. Cover the planted area with leaves, grass clippings and bark.
There are many varieties of compost on the market place especially created for bulbs. If you are planting in pots, it is recommended that you place crocks stones etc in the bottom, with some Organic waste and slow release fertilizer with a top dressing of compost, and water well during dry spells.
What is Naturalization of Bulbs:
It is important to realize, bulbs draw energy from the sun after flowering to provide nutrients for next years growth phase and to make little babies. Yes your bulbs grow baby bulbs, this is known as naturalization. So don't be impatient and cut the foliage off before it turns brown.