Now that we’re past Anzac Day and heading for May, it’s the perfect time to plant bulbs. The earlier you get them in, the earlier they’ll flower, bringing beauty and fragrance to your spring garden. You can also try staggering your planting from now up until early winter, planting in stages to have a longer blooming season.
Spring bulbs are some of the easiest plants to grow, but we’ve put together some tips to make it even easier.
Should I put my bulbs in the fridge? Some do benefit from a few weeks in the fridge before planting: tulips, hyacinth, muscari, daffodils and crocus can all gow taller and bloom earlier if chilled before planting. Don’t store fruit in the fridge at the same time though, as ethylene can damage them.
Should I dig my bulbs up after they flower? Some bulbs are born to ‘naturalise’ – they’re happy to stay in the ground and multiply. Dutch irises, muscari, freesias and daffodils are all good bulbs for this. Gladioli though will perform more reliably if you dig them out, dry them and store them in a cool place until the next planting season.
Can I grow my bulbs in pots? Yes! Good news for apartment dwellers. Be aware though that the soil gets surprisingly warm in a pot, even in winter. This can reduce the length of the stems and also affect the blooms. Do make sure the pots are free-draining too, or the bulbs may rot.
So whatever your favourites are – peony tulips, bluebells, anemones or daffs – it’s time to get planting! Winter’s around the corner but spring will follow, and there’s nothing quite like the joy and promise of those first green spikes appearing through the soil.