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How to grow flower bulbs

How to grow flower bulbs?


It's a fact of life: to enjoy the glorious bulb flowers that bloom in spring - such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and others - you must plant them in the autumn. That's the hard fact. The fun fact is that nothing is easier to grow or more colourfully rewarding than flower bulbs. Even the most unskilled gardener can create a breathtaking and beautiful spring garden with bulbs. Spring-flowering bulbs must be planted in the autumn because they require a sustained "dormant" period of cold temperatures to stimulate root development. The only rule is that, spring-flowering bulbs must be planted before the first hard frost. It's best to plant bulbs as soon as possible after bringing them home. If you must store them, keep them dry and cool - between 10 and 15 degrees (°C).

Tempting Choices

In addition to tulips and daffodils, you'll also want to plant other exotic Dutch bulbs, such as spring-flowering Scilla, Puschkinia, Muscari, Fritillaria, Allium, Camassia, and Eremurus. Spring-flowering bulbs offer a wide variety of colours, heights and flowering periods. Let your imagination run wild. Easy-to-grow bulbs allow you to concentrate on garden design. All you really need to learn about planning your garden is written on the package, or available from your bulb supplier. What you need to know is: the colour of the flower, which months it will bloom, how high it will grow, what month to plant, and how deep to plant.
By cutting out pictures from mail-order catalogues or booklets picked up at your local garden centre, you can plan your dream garden on paper right in your own living room! These are the keys to colourful and creative plantings around your home.

For annual, perennialised and naturalised plantings

Flower bulbs can be used in many different ways depending on the ultimate objective, here are some professional planting tips:

For annual plantings: this is usually the case when flower bulbs are used for a massive colour display. Good examples are flowerbeds planted with crocuses and tulips that flower successively, a sea of grape hyacinths, or long ribbon plantings of large-cupped daffodils. Flower bulbs with bright colours such as red, yellow and blue are particularly suited for this purpose.

For perennialised flowering, spring-flowering bulbs are allowed to remain undisturbed in the ground after they have finished flowering. This gives their foliage the time to wither back and provide the bulbs with nutrients to prepare them for the next growing season. Spring-flowering bulbs used this way are actually following the same cycle as perennial plants. Usually, sp ring-flowering bulbs planted for this purpose are included in an existing border consisting of perennials, shrubs or roses. Spring-flowering bulbs that can be used for multiple-year flowering include certain daffodil, tulip and hyacinth cultivars and a group of specialty bulbs. In this situation, it is essential to coordinate not only the colours of the flower bulbs among themselves but also the colours of the flower bulbs with the surrounding perennial plants.

For naturalised plantings: bulbs suitable for naturalising have just a little more to offer than the ones for multiple-year flowering. Like them, bulbs for naturalising also remain undisturbed after flowering and will come back again every year, but their added benefit is that their numbers will continue to increase as long as they have been planted under ideal conditions (light and air). Naturalised bulbs can function as independent plantings – snowdrops and crocuses in lawns and grass-covered verges – but they can also be included in existing plantings such as in planting beds with groundcover plants beneath trees and shrubs. In these more natural-looking situations, glaring colours would be out of place; better here would be the more muted tones of pastel yellows, light blues and white. Narcissi, scillas and leucojums are examples of bulbs that will naturalise and look just right here.

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How to?

Most spring-flowering Dutch bulbs will thrive in either full or partial sun, but do just fine in almost any location that offers good drainage. Bulbs will rot in standing water so avoid areas prone to flooding, such as the bottom of hills or under drainpipes.
After choosing the site:

Dig either a trench for a bed planting, or individual holes for individual bulbs or small cluster of bulbs. To determine how deep to plant, consider the calibre or size of the bulb. Large bulbs (5 cm or more) are usually planted about 15 cm deep; smaller-size bulbs (2.5 cm) are planted 7-10 cm deep.

Loosen the soil with a rake to aerate it and remove any weeds and small stones. Mix in a bit of peat moss to improve soil drainage. Place - do not push - bulbs firmly in the soil with the pointed side up. Space large bulbs 7-20 cm apart and small bulbs 3-7 cm apart. (If you're not sure which end is right side up, don't worry. Upside-down bulbs usually come up anyway!)

Cover the bulbs with soil and water generously, if the soil is not wet yet. Add 5-7 cm of mulch, pine bark is fine, on top of the garden bed. This will provide added protection from the cold and keeps the soil from drying out.

It's as easy as 1-2-3. By following these simple guidelines, your colourful garden is sure to turn the neighbours green with envy. Basically it all boils down to: buy those bulbs, put them in the ground and dream all winter of the glorious spring that awaits you.

Below you can find varies varieties of bulbs with explanations: