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Advice/Culture Notes

Planting Guide for Bulbs

 
Daffodils
 
On arrival keep the bulbs dry and cool in an airy place until ready to plant.
 
The ideal aspect is in full sun or light shade; avoid the windy aspect unless you are planting the dwarf or miniature varieties.
 
All should be planted as soon as possible after receipt and certainly before the end of October as bulbs can start to deteriorate, the ground should be moisture retentive but with good drainage, Daffodils do not like to be completely water logged.
 
Plant at a depth of 3 times height of the bulb this can be at least 15 to 20 cm on top of the bulbs depending on the size and variety and with a space equivalent to 2 or 3 Bulbs, they can then be left for several years to develop, closer planting is fine but you will need to lift and divide much more often.
 
Avoid fertilizers with a high Nitrogen content as this will cause soft growth and encourage softness and susceptibility to fungal disease, use a general fertilizer with high Potash, spread this at planting time and give an annual top dressing in the autumn.
 
After flowering remove the dead flower heads this prevent seed setting and will direct the energy to the bulb, please let the foliage die back naturally, as the leaves produce the  energy to produce next years bulb and flowers.
 
Daffodils in pots or containers can be a joy to see in the Conservatory or Greenhouse,  use a good quality bulb fibre or compost and plant the bulbs only just below the surface, do not allow the pots to dry out at any time, you will need to keep a careful eye on them during the growing season, keep the pots in a cool dark spot or outside  in a sheltered spot, bring them into the open once the bulbs are sprouting, avoid too much heat as this can over force the bulb and could cause the flower to abort.
 
Once the flowers are over, you can transplant them direct into the garden and allow them to die back naturally; they may take a season to get back to full vigour.
 
 
Tulips
 
Keep these dry and cool until you are ready to plant, the best time to plant Tulips is during October and November in a well drained situation with full light they will tolerate light shade.
 
Plant around the 10 to 12 cm deep and 10 to 12cm apart, if you need to add fertilizer do this at planting time and again as soon as the flowers have faded, high potash general fertilizer is best.
 
Remove the seed head as soon as the flower has finished and collect the fallen petals from the surrounding soil, allow the foliage to die back completely then lift the bulbs and store in a cool, dry and airy place.
 
The species and short Tulips can be left in the ground from year to year, but the Tall Hybrid Tulips do need to lifted annually.
 
 
Hyacinths
 
These bulbs must be kept cool and dry until ready to plant, September  to October is best, some bulbs are available as prepared bulbs for forcing, this a special preparation given by the producers and will flower before Christmas, but generally bulbs are supplied in their natural state to flower early in the spring.
 
They are ideal for planting in Bowls and Pots and must never be allowed to become waterlogged, as this does cause the bulbs to rot.
 
Planting in the garden choose a light sunny spot and set the bulbs 12-15 cm deep and 20cm apart if potting you can plant them almost touching for the best effect.
 
Top dress generously with a good high potash fertilizer, and again during the growing season, Hyacinths need to be well fed to perform at their best.
 
After flowering allow the foliage to die back completely bulbs can be left in the ground for another year but it is best to lift annually.
 
 
Alliums
 
Keep bulbs dry and cool until ready to plant, they prefer an open sunny aspect with rich well drained soil, plant 10-20 cm deep the bigger bulbs deeper than the small varieties, top dress with a good general high potash fertilizer when planting and again each Autumn.
 
The foliage often turns brown at the tips at flowering this can be trimmed and removed; generally leave the foliage to die back naturally.
 
 
Fritillaria
 
Plant these as soon as possible in the Autumn 5-10 cms deep and 15-20 cms apart in an Dappled light or slight shade, avoid very hot and dry situations,  a good rich but well drained soil is best, but these bulbs should never become waterlogged as they will rot
 
Top dress with a good general fertilizer at planting, and again each autumn.
 
 
Iris
 
Plant these as soon as possible in the Autumn in full sun and a well drained situation, the dwarf varieties should be 10 cm deep and 10 cm apart, they can be left undisturbed for best results, top dress annually with a good general fertilizer.
 
 
Muscari
 
Keep cool and dry until ready to plant, choose a full sun to light shade situation and well drained, plant 10-12 cm deep and 10 cm apart top dress with a good general fertilizer annually, they are best left undisturbed.