Spring flowering bulbs

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Craigy16ed, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Craigy16ed

    Craigy16ed Apprentice Gardener

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    hi I’m new to the forum and just looking for some advice on bulbs if possible. I have recently bought 600 tulip/daffodil/allium bulbs with a view to plant them in the next couple of weeks in two very large raised flower beds I am having built.
    Would I be ok to plant around them with annuals in the summer once the have died back?
    Also am I a bit late in planting them for next spring, there has been a delay on the work being done in my garden unfortunately. Thanks very much for any help!
    Kind regards
    Craig
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Hi and Welcome,

      We only got round to planting our Daffs and Tulips last week, so cannot see any problem doing them now or asap, though the Daffs might flower a bit later than expected, Tulips are said to be planted around now anyway.

      Also got some Alliums to plant as well, just as soon as we can get some dry enough weather to clear the bed for them.

      Nothing to stop you putting any type of plants around the bulbs, just that their foliage can look a bit messy for some weeks while it dies back, though some folk do cut them off early, but that could affect the following years growth.

      Generally better to plant bulbs that bit deeper rather than too shallow. :smile:
       
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      • Craigy16ed

        Craigy16ed Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks for that! Very helpful.
        Would you recommend fertilising when planting or when cutting back at all?
         
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        • redstar

          redstar Total Gardener

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          of those you mentioned there are many types, and they should come with a depth instructions. also many types of time frames that daffs and tulips appear, depending on what you buy. Alliums usually appear in June, so to me that is not spring. If you can still work your ground then put them in, if not, and you wait till spring, doubt the daffs and tulips will appear, maybe the following year, but the alliums could. Keep them in a cold area to help the possibility that they might if you don't plant them now. and yes you can plant annuals around them. I have tons of perennials around all of my Two Hundred Thousand bulbs. well except the blue drifts on the lawn.
           
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          • Craigy16ed

            Craigy16ed Apprentice Gardener

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            Wow two hundred thousand you must of been busy!!
             
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            • ricky101

              ricky101 Total Gardener

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              Sounds like @redstar is more experienced to answer that ... :smile:

              ...though we generally add some Fish Blood and Bone to the planting hole * /soil and then in later spring when they have flowered and your summer plants are about to go in / come up we add the same and /or something like fast acting Growmore along with a mulch of compost if any around.

              * Do not just put fertiliser into the bottom of the hole and sit the bulb on to it, mix it up with the soil first.

              We find when planting in a bed of soil, if you can, digging a layer of soil out , like a shallow trench is a lot easier than trying to make individual holes and allows you to space the bulbs better.
               
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                Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
              • clanless

                clanless Total Gardener

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                200,000 - that's more than B&Q stock :biggrin:

                My tip is don't cut them back - let them die back - and plant 3 times as deep as the bulb is high.

                Or - dig a wide trench - chuck them in - then cover back up with soil.

                I read on't net that bulbs can be planted up to the end of December - provided the ground isn't frozen solid.
                 
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                • redstar

                  redstar Total Gardener

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                  I don't fertilize the exact bulbs. and adding fish blood etc will only entice animals to dig. When I fertilize, and that is maybe every 2 years, its a general plant fertilizer that going over the entire area, plants, and shrubs. the middle number is a "10". I use the pellets in the early spring, like in March, so the rains wash them down in the soil gently. I think if you see my gardens in general you will see, I don't need to fertilize, they go crazy. Think fertilizing is overrated myself.

                  and yes have been busy, been here 30 years. usually planted a Thousand or two every fall. for the past 6 years its into lifting and separating and re-planting, finding new spots. I pick something to bloom continually from the earliest known bulb to the latest known bulb. Each area gets thicker and thicker. This fall, did not buy any. we lifted and replanted about 600 this past spring. we rotate to different areas, somehow we just know.
                   
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                  • Craigy16ed

                    Craigy16ed Apprentice Gardener

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                    Why do you say not to fertilise directly into the hole, is it too potent or something doing it this way? It would be far easier doing this way when drilling holes for bulbs however but if it’s gonna damage bulbs it’s not worth it I guess
                     
                  • ricky101

                    ricky101 Total Gardener

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                    Hi,

                    Cannot say with 100% certainly, but generally if you add feriliser of any kind into the planting hole, big or small, you do not want the plant /bulbs base or root to sit directly onto itas it could 'burn' the new roots trying to form.

                    Drop the fertiliser in , but then with a folk or stick just mix the fertiliser lighting into the soil before dropping the plant /bulb in, though perhaps rather tedious if you have so many.

                    If you are going to make lot of individual holes rather than the trench method , a simpler way would be to mix some feriliser with some of the top soil and then place that mix over the bulb.

                    Even simpler, just plant all the bulbs, broadcast the fertiliser onto the soil, in the amounts on the packet and then gently rake over so its not left on the surface for blow away.
                     
                  • redstar

                    redstar Total Gardener

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                    Bulbs are usually planted in the fall and the bulb is now slowly sleeping in its new bed. If you fertilize it then your charging it with unneeded energy that they don't need in the winter. If you want sprinkle it about in the early spring when the snow slowly melts it down around the bulb. Hate to continually say, I have Two Hundred Thousand bulbs. and they come up every year.
                     
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                    • Mike Allen

                      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                      Welcome to Gardeners Corner Craig.
                      Usually keeping an eye on garden centers etc will provide one with an idea of when to plant. Having purchased/obtained your bulbs, perhaps time and circumstances may be holding you back with planting. Thankfully bulbs will remind you it's time, a sudden appearance of a green tip suggests you plant NOW.

                      If planting thousands, then I'd suggest going along with our friend's point of taking out some form of trench. In this case a sprinkling of whatever can be made. I personally would use a single ingredient such as bone meal. Sitting a bulb on a bed of chemical to me is a no go. The basis for fertilizers is to encourage growth. Have the fertilizer mixed into the soil/compost. This way, the roots will search out the nutrients. Depth of planting. I have mentioned this in the past. Strange to say, and I can offer no sound reason but. Daffs and the narcissi family for whatever reasn have the habit of sinking themselves deeper, which sadly has been proved as one of the reasons for bulb blindness. Alternatively they can rise more to the surface and produce weak foliage and flowers.
                      So you have had a good season and the bulbs have flowered well. DON't cut the foliage down. The foliage has done it's job and is now providing nourishment back to the bulb. It's up to you. Perhaps a light top dressing, mulch plus some added fertilizer can help. Regarding lifting bulbs and dividing. Might I suggest undertaking this say four - five years.

                      Bulbs planted in pots and containers, require much the same treatment. Hope this helps.
                       
                    • redstar

                      redstar Total Gardener

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                      Bone Meal will cause some animals to dig in that area. Also, yes don't cut the foliage, but you have to dead head, cut off the spent flowers. If you want to avoid too much lifting and dividing plant a little further apart than suggested then it takes longer to get to that point. I would say of all the bulbs I have planted we have never fertilized in the hole of anything.
                       
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