Planting bulbs – a step-by-step guide
Garden bulbs last longer than cut flowers and because you can replant and grow again, they are both sustainable and good value for money.
We now have a range of garden flower bulbs inspired by our organic Cutting Garden available at our Kingham farmshop. The selection includes our favourite varieties of narcissi, tulips, hyacinths, muscari, snowdrops, amaryllis and fritillaries, offering a choice of stunning flower sizes, shapes, colours and fragrances.
Plant now in pots to bring a touch of nature into your home through winter, or in the garden for stunning displays in spring. Read on for our step-by-step guide to planting bulbs in pots and outdoors. Head over to our Instagram to see Jez, the head of our Market Garden, show you how he plants his bulbs with plenty of practical tips.
Planting in pots
CHOOSE A CONTAINER
Find a trug, pot or basket that has a nice deep base to ensure enough space for the bulbs. If you’re using a basket, gently place a waterproof lining along the inside to prevent leaking onto your table or surface.
CREATE A BASE
Scatter a layer of gravel in the base of your container for drainage. This will act as a reservoir and prevent your bulbs from getting waterlogged.
SELECT your BULBS
With such an incredible array available, you might like to create a mixed arrangement to enjoy a variety of colours and shapes. We like to combine narcissi, hyacinths, tulips, snowdrops and crocuses. Sticking to a single variety also creates a stunning effect.
Either way, place your chosen bulbs on the bed of gravel and consult the growing instructions on the packet to see how many you can fit in your container without overcrowding.
Place a generous amount of general purpose compost around the bulbs, gently pressing around each bulb to ensure they are secure.
Plant the bulb to twice the depth of the bulb. Planting bulbs deep down means that over the next few weeks until around mid-November you can still do surface level weeding without disrupting the growing tip.
use a planter
For alliums, tulips and bigger bulbs, use a bulb planter. Because it’s wider at the top then it is at the base, it pulls out the soil like a cork and leaves you with a really decent sized hole. For muscari and snowdrops, a small trowel is fine.
a light touch
Crumble the soil back on top of the bulb, which means that when the bulb starts to grow it can easily push up through the soil.
look forward to spring
Planting now gives you very reliable, consistent growth in the spring and there’s nothing better than seeing that colour come through in March and April when the weather warms up.