Now is the time to get the bulbs planted

Date Posted: 01 December 2017

This blog is written by an average amateur gardener. This means that I do not necessarily have all the answers and what I say should not be taken as read. The information given in this blog should not be interpreted as advice as in essence it represents the musings of a gardener about some of the issues faced in dealing with the problems and opportunities encountered throughout the seasons. The joy of gardening is what this blog is all about. The advantage I do have is that I have the advice of my very professional gardener Gary, so Gary the Gardener’s thoughts will very much form part of what I write

What a delightful thought. All that colour appearing in the spring (and autumn if you plant nerine bowdensii) nodding and swaying in the breeze. Banks of beautiful daffodils giving rich colour after the darkness of winter. But now is the time to plant and that needs to be done soon before any frost hardens the ground.
Decision time – in pots or in the ground? For pots the job is easy. In fact there are several ways in which you can achieve a fantastic result in pots. Here are two ideas– they are not new. Bear in mind that the pots will cost more than the bulbs and the compost!
Buy 3 or 5 pots of decent depth and as tall as you can afford. Plant 2 levels of bulbs (tulips are superb for this) each level being of different colour but don’t mix the colour in the levels. Partly fill your pot then plant a ring of one type and then fill again and plant the next group. This way you will have a longer period of flower.
The second is to add a range of wallflowers (if you can get them at this late stage) and plant those in the top surface of your pots then you will have the tulips growing through the beautiful and perfumed wall flowers next spring.
Planting in the ground is so much easier with the hori hori knife. This Japanese tool is absolutely perfect for this job. I watched my wife who is the bulb planter in our family planting groups of tulips in the little orchard (although tiny in area it qualifies as an orchard as there are 11 fruit trees grouped together) that we have. She found the strength and sharp edges of the hori hori to be the best thing she has used for digging those annoying little holes to put the bulbs in.
PS If you haven’t got your bulbs in yet the recent spell of cold, frosty and even snowy conditions will have delayed your progress but it seems that rain and milder weather may be coming so get out soon and plant those bulbs.