As we enter spring (at least theoretically for now), many of us begin to dream of what our gardens will look like in the summer. Preparing for planting summer bulbs is a process that actually begins in the spring, and it couldn’t be a better time to get started on working out what you want to do this year! Let’s go over some essentials tips to help point your green thumb in the right direction.
How Summer Bulbs are Different
As opposed to spring-flowering bulbs that are planted in the fall and tend to be hardier, summer bulbs are planted in spring and happen to be quite tender. Some of the most popular choices for summer bulbs include Amaryllis, Agapanthus, Dahlia Gladiolus, Peruvian Daffodil, and Persian Buttercup as well as many others. So, keep in mind that whenever you shop for bulbs and happen to notice more tender and fragile ones, the chances are that they are meant for spring planting.
Which Bulbs to Buy?
Even if you happen across some summer bulbs, be sure to take a few precautions before taking them to the register. Also, be sure to stay away from ones with soft spots or white mould. Try to find bulbs that are firm, healthy-looking, and blemish-free. You’ll pay more, but you’ll get much better quality, which is due to the fact that bulbs are graded according to diameter and priced accordingly. Alternatively, you could also order from a local bulb nursery that sells them in bulk or opts for younger bulbs which are normally sold for lower prices but offer long-term benefits as they mature.
Where and When to Plant
Try to plant in groups for a more natural and complete look – no bulbs will look good when placed in even, organized rows. You can also try to plant clusters of same-colour flowers together to get a more visually appealing garden as well. Also, it is important to consider that most bulb-based flowers need anywhere between full sun and light shade to flourish – make sure you do your research!
Depth, Spacing, and Soil
Try to plant larger bulbs at a depth 3 times as deep as they are high, and about 3-6 inches apart (or equally). Smaller bulbs can be planted 1-2 inches apart, as they won’t need as much room to grow healthily. For soil, be sure to stay away from clay or sand-based soils, as they will almost certainly kill your bulbs. Instead, opt for soil that can retain a sufficient amount of water. Begin watering when you start to see green and stop when the foliage begins to yellow once it has flowered.
Bulb planting can be a fun and deeply rewarding experience – nothing beats watching something grow and flourish thanks to your own hard work (and that of mother nature’s)! With these tips in mind, your garden can be more lush and full than ever before.