How to plant spring flowering bulbs

With spring well on its way, the thick knits and warm tights are finally being given a new home at the back of the wardrobe, only to be replaced by summery dresses, sandals and shorts. But as well as a new wardrobe, spring also brings with it a new surge of life for the garden. The trick is knowing how to achieve it.

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Where to start

A fail-safe route that guarantees spring bulb triumph is to plant them at peak times. The bulbs should preferably be placed in the garden prior to any ground-freezing frost as this will allow the bulbs to root and institute themselves just in time for summer. However, gardeners must beware planting their bulbs too early as a premature start can lead to disease and fungal glitches. Over the years, many have found that a good principle to follow is to plant bulbs when the average evening temperature is around  40- to 50°F (4-10°C) .

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For some, spring will come around quicker than anticipated, meaning the optimal time for planting bulbs has long since passed. This shouldn’t mean leaving previously purchased bulbs dormant in the garage though. Bulbs are different to packets of seeds and more often than not they won’t survive a year out of the ground.  You are therefore better off taking your chances.

Plant a bed of spring bulbs

Bulbs are reliant on good soil conditions and organic matter must replace heavy clay. There are two ways to plant the bulbs – either individually in single holes or altogether in a wider hole. The hole should be two to four times deeper than the bulbs and they should be placed in the soil with the pointed tip facing upwards.

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Once in place, cover the bulbs with soil taking great care not to damage the tips. Cover the entire area with chicken wire – this will prevent animals from destroying the bulbs – but remove as soon as the first shoot shows to let the bulbs bloom.

Spring plants for all ages

Many flowering bulbs will reproduce and bloom for years to come with minimum care. This makes them a good option for the elderly gardener and McCarthy & Stone are currently working on similar styles with award winning gardeners to create a space that celebrates later life.

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As Award Winning Retirement Home builders, McCarthy & Stone have plenty of experience in catering to the needs of the older population so if you’re interested in achieving a vibrant garden, whatever your age, why not take inspiration from their progress?

All images are from Better Homes & Gardens.