Buying Bulbs And Planting Them

Buying Bulbs And Planting Them

When buying bulbs, corms and tubers, look for firmness, solid texture and even colour. If the soil is at all heavy, a light sprinkling of sharp sand or peat in the bottom of the hole improves the drainage and keeps the bulb from rotting. Once the bulb is planted, return the plug of soil and turf and firm with your feet.

Bulbs in turf need little attention other than remov- Avoid soft, punctured, sprouting or mouldy bulbs, and any which are exceptionally large or small. Large gladioli corms, for example, may be old ones and will give less value for money than more Wistaria and wallflowers provide abundant colour and scent in spring. Note the support which Wistaria needs when grown as a freestanding specimen.

Moderate-sized corms.

To naturalize bulbs in grass, let them fall from your hand in roughly the area where you intend them to grow. Plant them where they land, rather than formally setting them out in rows.

Special bulb planters are available; these remove plugs of turf and soil so the bulb can be planted. Lift, divide and replant when overcrowded, or the quality and size of flower will deteriorate.

Never cut green leaves from bulbs, or future flowering will be sacrificed. If the bulbs have finished flowering and you wish to use the space they occupy for annuals or biennials to follow on, lift the bulbs with the leaves still intact. Once dried out, they can be stored in a cool place until the following autumn, when they can be replanted.

Some bulbs and corms, such as some lilies and gladioli, are not frost hardy and must be lifted before the first of the winter frosts.

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