Bulbs are your best bet for success. It’s almost impossible to make a mistake because all the nutrients that the flower needs, are in the bulb. What you may find difficult, is actually choosing which bulbs you want.
This article will help you select healthy bulbs and will give you tips on how to get them ready, from preparing the soil, fertilizing, and planting.
Selecting Healthy Bulbs
The secret to a fantastic flower garden is choosing high-quality bulbs. Make sure that you always buy your bulbs from a reliable source, whether you are shopping from a catalog, outlet or local store. Even if the bulbs are a little more costly, you will save money on the long run, if the source is a good one, than simply searching for the best bargain.
Because the bulb stores the energy in the bulb (in the form of starch,) larger bulbs may produce larger flowers. This does not mean however, that you should buy only large bulbs. Don’t hesitate to buy smaller ones as well from a reliable source. These smaller bulbs may just need a season or two to catch up to the larger ones. If you want to have spectacular blooms this year, then buy the larger bulbs.
If you’re buying your bulbs from a local store, inspect them carefully. They should be firm and not have any cuts, blemishes or spots on them. They should not feel dry or light, but more on the heavy side for their size. The basal plate (where the roots emerge) should be solid and firm. It’s okay for the bulbs to have loose skin or little nicks. This would not affect their development in any way.
It’s always important to choose the right spot for your bulbs, whether it be inside or outside. You probably know about the differences in planting in the garden; how certain plants will thrive better under certain conditions than others.
When you select your location for your new bulbs, try to think about its needs and where it may do best. Don’t forget that even a few feet can make a huge difference with levels of light. What may be suitable lighting at the edge of your shrubs may not be suitable over by the corner of your house, even if it’s only a small jog away.
Preparing the Soil
Except for Siberian irises, most bulbs prefer loose, porous soil because they need to have good drainage. If your soil does not drain well, improve it by adding nutrients, raising the beds, or installing drain lines.
Almost any soil can benefit from organic materials, especially sandy and heavy clay soils.
Mix bone meal or superphosphate into the soil at the bottom of each planting hole. Because phosphorus does not move easily; it must be planted deep enough to allow the roots to reach it.
Try to plant your bulbs as soon as you can when the weather permits and is suitable for planting. If you can’t plant them right away, store them in a cool place such as your refrigerator. Never store them in closed bags as they might rot. Bulbs need to breathe!
Open the bags or place them instead in paper ones.
Most bulbs are planted at a depth three times their diameter. It’s easier if you dig up a larger area at the proper depth, set them inside the hole, and then cover them.