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Bulbs Planting In Autumn Ensures A Colourful Spring

In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Whereas in autumn a gardeners fancy turns to spring.

No sooner has autumn set in than we gardeners begin to think of spring and spring bulb planting. There is a wide selection of bulbs available for planting now and blooming in spring, the following is just a small selection those available…

Allium (flowering garlic),
Anemone (wind flower),
Crocus,
Cyclamen,
Galanthus (Snowdrop),
Hyacinth,
Iris,
Narcissus (daffodil),
Scillia (bluebell),
Tulip,

Now, choosing the right bulbs involves more than just selecting colours and flowers you like. Bulb size and more importantly, bulb health are equally significant factors in selecting your spring garden bulbs. I suggest you carry out my personal quality test for bulbs before you go ahead and plant.

Healthy bulbs should be firm and heavy for their size. They should not feel overly dry or light. Certain bulbs (daffodils etc) will have loose and peeling skin, this is normal and nothing to worry about.

In the case of bulbs, "bigger is better", big bulbs usually mean a large amount of stored food to produce brilliant blooms the following season. Smaller, bargain bulbs may take two years to produce blooms good enough for your garden.

The colour of the bulbs skin should be uniform with no dark or light patches. Any bulbs with weak or spongy areas should not be planted, this is often a tell tale sign of rot.
If the bulbs you select appear to tick all the above boxes then you are well on your way to a colourful return from this season’s bulb planting.

Weather permitting; you should try to plant your bulbs quite soon upon arriving home from the garden centre. Bulbs continually deteriorate the longer they are out of the soil. If you cannot plant them right away, store them in a cool place such as your garden shed or garage. Never store them in closed bags as they might rot. Bulbs need to breathe; this is why you will see garden centre displaying bulbs in perforated or net bags.

Submitted by:

James Kilkelly

James Kilkelly is a freelance horticulturalist and garden writer for four Irish regional newspapers. His forum, http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/ offers you free access to a wealth of horticultural information specific to Ireland. He also regularly contributes to http://www.gardenstew.com/




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