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Guide to planting bulbs in Autumn

planting flower bulbs in autumn

When Autumn arrives, it can sometimes feel like your gardening tasks are over with until Spring arrives next year. However, Autumn is, in fact, a really busy season and the perfect time to plant your spring-flowering bulbs. In this quick guide, we talk you through some top tips for planting bulbs this Autumn and preparing your garden for the year ahead.

Many bulbs are best when they are planted in Autumn including daffodils, tulips, irises, crocuses and more. This time of year is optimum as the soil is still warm from summer but slightly damp, making it easier for you to dig and plant your bulbs, and the plants will have time to develop a strong root system before the cold temperatures and frost of Winter hits. In addition to this, you are almost guaranteed to have regular rain at the end of Autumn, providing ideal conditions for the bulbs to grow.
Although a lot of Spring flowering bulbs are best to be planted in early to mid-Autumn, some species can cope with being planted later into early December, such as some tulips. Before planting any bulbs, always check the planting instructions first as they will vary from plant to plant.

A common mistake made is not planting your bulbs deep enough. A good rule to stick to is to plant the bulb 2 ½ - 3 times deeper than its height to ensure it is sufficiently covered. If you plant your bulbs too shallow, they could come up blind in subsequent years meaning that they will not have any flowers.

If you do not know which way round to plant a bulb, then always play it safe and plant it on its side. They will find their own way to the correct position.

A good tip is to label where you have planted the bulbs. This will ensure you know which areas are already finished, so you don’t accidentally dig up a bulb, and it means you remember where you have planted particular species and colours which is great for when you are designing flower beds. By the time Spring comes around, you are more than likely to have forgotten where you have planted what.

Before you start planting your bulbs, take some time to carefully plan your garden or flower bed. If you want formal flower beds, you will need to plan the spacing between the bulbs with care. Even if you want a more informal, mixed up look, you will have to take time to ensure you have blended the bulbs effectively.

Although the planning can take a little while, the planting of the bulbs themselves is a relatively easy task. Get your kids to help you plant as it saves you time, gives them something to do and means that they can monitor the bulbs’ progress and be proud of their results when Spring arrives.

Once you have planted your bulbs, ensure you water them but be careful not to overwater them or water them too frequently. This can lead to root rot of the bulb. The time you need to water the plants more regularly is once the foliage can be seen sprouting through the ground. Check the weather forecast before you water as well in case you are expecting heavy downpours which will do your job for you.

A lot of bulbs, such as irises or snowdrops, look great in clusters rather than regimented lines. Also, think about how much space you leave between bulbs. You want to give them enough room to grow and naturalise over the years, but you also don’t want any large gaps forming as it will ruin the effect.

Look at what height the plants are expected to grow. Some bulbs, like certain species of alliums, can grow quite tall, meaning that these are probably better placed at the back of your flower beds. The smaller, dwarf varieties of plants are perfect to place at the front.

When preparing the ground, remove any weeds or big clumps before you get started. The soil should be nice and crumbly in texture.

After the bulbs have been planted, you can let winter take its course, and then see your hard work pay off in Spring when your bulbs will bloom into colour.

If you need any more advice about planting Spring flowering bulbs, then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately-owned business with over 35 years’ experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you’re a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, just give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit http:/// for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more.

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