Plant bulbs in late autumn to colour up the end of winter and beginning of spring
To use a bulb planter push it into the ground to make holes of the right depth, squeezing the handle to release the soil. Image: Getty Images.
A bulb should be heavy and firm. If it feels light then it could be dead inside or if it’s soft it may have fungal disease.
Tulip bulbs in particular need to have an intact outer skin to prevent dehydration and damage.
FOR PLANTING choose a spot with well-drained soil that gets sun in winter and spring.
Position bulbs with the pointy end facing up and twice as deep as the height of the bulb, so a 30mm bulb
is planted 60mm below the surface.
TIP Use a bulb planter if sowing a lot of bulbs. It uses a squeezing action to pick up and release soil and has depth indicators on the side.
TO CARE apply a complete bulb fertiliser at planting time then again when flowering has finished.
Rainfall or weekly watering is enough moisture for bulbs to grow. Allow the foliage to die down to feed the bulb for flowering next season.
What to plant
Bulbs you can plant now to spring-flowering include:
- Grape hyacinth
Plant a single hyacinth bulb in a vase to keep indoors for a long-lasting floral display and fragrance.
Step 1. Fill a glass vase
Fill a glass vase about 150mm high with clean nursery pebbles to 50mm deep, positioning the bulb on top and adding more pebbles until it is covered up to the neck.
Step 2. Add water
Add water to reach the base of the bulb so the roots grow in water but the bulb stays dry to avoid rotting. Put the vase in a cool, dry place until roots form then move to a sunny spot.