Growing Spring Bulbs for Summer Flowers
Bulbs can be used in any garden or patio container, giving you beautiful flowers, fragrance and brilliant colour with just a little effort. You will be amazed at what will grow from these little brown bulbs.
Energy for the initial spurt of spring growth is stored in the bulb or tuber, so a larger bulb means more stored energy and a stronger, healthier plant.
Bigger is better when choosing tubers, corms or rhizomes.
· Plant bulbs at the depth recommended on the label. A general rule is to plant bulbs at a depth three times the greater diameter of the bulb. Dig a hole and sprinkle fertilizer with a high middle number like bone-meal in the bottom.
· Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end up.
· Cover the bulb with soil and water thoroughly. Do not water again until shoots begin to appear. Provide a layer of mulch on top of the bed to help prevent weeds and retain moisture.
· Make sure your bulbs are well watered, but allowed to dry out between watering.
· Weeds will compete with your plants for nutrients so keep weed free.
· If you’d like to get a quick start on growing summer bulbs, plant them indoors a month or two before it’s time to transplant them into the garden.
· Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
· Use a recommended flower or bulb fertilizer, as well as bone-meal for continuous blooming.
Winter Care and Storage
Throughout the growing season, bulbs and tubers send manufactured food down into underground storage. This becomes stored energy for next year’s growth.
In cold winter areas, spring bulbs must be dug up as winter approaches to save them for next year. Otherwise treat them as an annual.
· Discontinue watering two to three weeks before the first frost to encourage dormancy.
· Carefully dig up the bulbs after the first killing frost freezes the top growth. Be careful not to damage the bulb.
· Dry bulbs for a week in a dark, ventilated area before storing for the winter. To protect against insect and diseases damage, dust with a fungicide.
· Store covered with dry peat moss or vermiculite so they do not touch one another.
· Bulbs are best stored at 10 to 15°C.
Check out a Buckerfield's garden centre near you for a wide variety of spring bulbs, soils and great selection of gardening supplies.
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