Why it's better to plant flower bulbs too deep than too shallow

planting bulbs in the soilFor many first-time gardeners, even the most basic elements of planting bulbs and growing flowers can seem daunting, and it can almost seem like a mystical, magical process to be able to plant bulbs and grow flowers from them successfully.

However, once you begin to understand the key principles and the basics of what you need to do, then things begin to make more sense.

One such example is knowing when to plant your bulbs. There is no set date on the calendar for when you need to plant, but there are key factors that you need to consider when deciding when is the right time.

The most important factors in determining when you should plant your bulbs are the weather conditions and temperature outside, and in particular the soil temperature. You generally wait until the autumn months to plant your bulbs because the weather conditions have started to cool by then, and therefore the soil temperature has also started to cool. You don't want to plant bulbs in soil that is too warm, as it will lead to the bulbs being, in effect, "cooked".

It is important to remember in everything you do with a bulb that it is a live product, and therefore anything has the potential to stress that live product. If you stress the product then it can severely affect the flowering performance of the bulb, leading to deformities or the bulb not flowering at all.

A key part of this is how deep you plant the bulbs. The soil nearer the surface will be warmer than the soil deeper down, so the higher you plant your bulbs, the more the chance of them being in warmer soil and therefore of getting "cooked".  So, if you're in doubt, there is a simple rule to follow when planting bulbs, which is that it is better to plant them too deep than to plant too shallow.

But before you start digging really deep holes, let us just explain what we mean by that. For example, daffodil bulbs should be planted around 6 inches under the soil, which is around 15cm. If you're in doubt, it is better to plant them 20cm deep than it is to plant them 10cm deep. It won't harm them by planting them that little bit deeper, whereas it may harm them if you don't plant them deep enough. Just know how deep the particular bulb you are planting needs to be, and if in doubt err on the side of caution.

If you need more tips, advice or help with planting or looking after your 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 / for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more. 

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