Bulb Care: How to Get the Most Out of Your Bulbs, Now and Later
Planting bulbs is just half the task. Apart from planting it the right way, you also need to take care of them so that they can bloom in the upcoming seasons perfectly without a hitch. Otherwise, you can search for “landscape companies near me” and hire professionals to design and care for your landscape. Let’s check out how you can get the most out of your bulbs, now and later.
- Screen the buds – Bulb care starts from the very beginning, even before you start planting them. You need to select high-quality bulbs at your local garden center to make sure that the blooming season is a success. Make sure to avoid mushy and soft bulbs or those with an exceptionally cheap price with visible mold growing on them. Instead, gently press bulbs while inspecting and choose those that are firm and plump. Also, make sure that you choose bigger bulbs since they have a higher chance of blooming than their smaller counterparts.
- Be picky with the planting spot – Even if you choose the best bulbs, they can’t show their full potential if planted in the wrong spot. Most bulbs love the sun and would need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day on well-drained soil to bloom at the right time. Inspect your backyard several times throughout the day and create a sun exposure map of your property. Choose the spot that’s always under direct sunlight.
- Nail the timing – Depending on the time you want the bulbs to bloom dictates the time you plant them in your garden. For instance, daffodils and tulips, and other spring-blooming bulbs should be planted during the late fall season around September or October. The soil needs to cool down for those types of bulbs. On the other hand, if you have summer blooming bulbs like gladiolus and dahlia, reserve them for planting during the spring season when the winter frost won’t damage them.
- Plant them deeply – With bulbs, it’s kind of confusing to figure out how deep those should be planted. Even experienced gardeners have a hard time nailing the depth. However, it’s simple math. Note the height of the bulb and dig a hole that’s around two or three times deeper. That means for a 2-inch-tall bulb, you need to dig as much as 4 or 6 inches into the soil. While that’s the general rule, some bulbs have different requirements. Check the planting instructions that come with the bulbs.
- Keep the pointy side up – People often get confused about which way they should place the bulb inside the soil. Beginners often have a hard time figuring out the upwards direction of the bulb. You simply need to inspect the bulb for a pointy end and keep it up while placing it on the ground. If there are no pointed sides, check for root hairs. The side with the roots should always point down.
- Good soil and organic mulch – Most plants appreciate good soil and bulbs aren’t any different. The bulbs must be planted in soil that’s rich with organic matter. After you plant bulbs in their designated holes, fill the holes with rich compost so that they can get all the necessary nutrients. You can’t skip this move if you want to ensure good blooms, especially if you have clayey soil that stays wet most of the time.
You also need to stop weeds and keep them from sprouting at the same spot as your bulbs. Weeds don’t just make your garden look ugly, but also steal all the nutrients from the soil. They also attract all kinds of diseases and pests. The easiest way to control weed sprout and growth is to mulch over the planting spot. Cover the soil with around 2 to 3 inches of mulch. While your bulbs would be able to push through the mulch, weed seeds won’t be able to do so. Moreover, make sure to use organic mulch since they would become nutrients for the bulbs as they grow.
- Water thoroughly – Bulbs are just plants in a protective casing or giant seeds without a hard shell. That means, they also need a lot of water before they can sprout. Make sure to water well and deep. This encourages the bulbs to send their roots deep into the ground and quickly get established into the ground. Moreover, thorough watering helps to eliminate air pockets around the bulb and keeps them from drying up.
- Add wire mesh – Squirrels and other critters around your garden love to dig up freshly planted plump bulbs. To prevent those animals from destroying the potential blooms, spread a generous layer of mulch to hide the bulbs. If that’s not enough, you can always add a wire mesh over the planted area to keep out those furry critters. After the bulbs start sprouting squirrels and other animals lose interest and that’s a good time to remove the wire mesh.
- Protect tender bulbs – Summer bubs are tender. So if you plan to plant canna bulbs, you need to protect them from the frosty ground during the harsh winter season, especially if you live in a cold climate. You can use simple tricks like planting the bulbs in containers and sinking them inside the ground. This way, the bulbs get the optimal blooming environment while growing on isolated soil.
- Group planting – You want your bulbs to grow in an irregular pattern with a wide variety of flowers in a small area instead of neat straight rows of the same flower. So, play the random game and toss them around in the designated planting area.
When you plant bulbs and care for them with the right technique they can bloom gloriously for many seasons. You can get a stunning flower garden with a bit of patience and hard work. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can always outsource the job to professionals after searching for “landscape companies near me”.
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