How to Plant Bulbs and their Aftercare
In most gardens there can usually be found a place for a fewand generally speaking most hardy flourish in any good well-drained soil, some even giving a creditable display under uncongenial conditions. Soil known as is ideal. This is a well-balanced mixture of clay, sand, humus material and lime. Where silver sand is available and a compost heap is constantly kept in being, it will be easy to add material which will render most soils suitable.
All soils will be improved by forking inand . Fresh manure, however, should not be used and an ideal site would be one that had been manured for a previous crop. Deep cultivation should be carried out well before planting time and a good dressing of bonemeal, at the rate of 2 oz. to the sq. yd., forked in to the soil during the final preparation, is very beneficial.
A trowel is the handiest tool to use when planting. The bulb should be set firmly in position at the correct depth with the pointed end up. The soil should then be replaced making sure that the bulb has no air pocket underneath it as water might collect there causing the bulb and developing roots to rot. A bulb planting tool is available which is especially valuable when planting a quantity of naturalised bulbs. This will cut out a plug of soil or, leaving a clean round hole into which the bulb is placed. The plug can then be returned leaving little or no trace of having been removed.
As a general rule, spring-can be planted at any time during the autumn until frost hardens the ground. Daffodils are among the first to be planted from late August into October for they root early, but October and onwards is early enough for and most other spring bulbs when the summer and autumn-flowering have finished their displays.
Although all spring-flowering bulbs are hardy, in very cold areas some winter protection is desirable. Peat, branches of evergreens or dried bracken can be used but these should be removed during mild weather as soon as growth appears above the ground. Most spring-flowering bulbs, with the exception of tulips and, may be left undisturbed for years for although the flowers may slightly decrease in size, the number of blooms will greatly increase.
Summer-flowering bulbs, with the exception of, are not as hardy as those that flower in spring but they are just as easy to grow. Certain of them such as album, Dutch , , and ixiolirion bloom in June and July but must be planted in autumn. Stem-rooting lilies can be planted either in November or the spring. However, it is not too late to plan for a splendid display of bulbous flowers in your summer garden during March and April.
It is advisable to lift most summer-flowering bulbs in the autumn and store them away from the perils of frost for the winter. This is a minor effort to make in return for the colourful show they create in your garden for months on end.
If it is necessary to lift any bulbous plants before the foliage has died down, do not leave them out of the ground but put them in the soil again in some out of the way place where the foliage may wither and die naturally, for it is the return of the sap from the leaves which helps to ripen the bulbs and complete the formation of the young flower buds for the next season. The leaves may be knotted together at this stage which will givea neater appearance. Then you can finally lift them, remove loose skins and soil and store in a cool dry place until planting time comes round again.