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Planting for Spring

by - Monday, September 23, 2013

Good afternoon my friend! As you may remember, we started prepping the garden for spring recently, which you can read about here. Unfortunately our work got rained off, but we finally managed to progress with the spring planting yesterday. To be honest it's been quite nice doing this job in stages, as I've heard planting bulbs can be rather laborious. So far I've been enjoying it, so I'm hopefully doing something right! (Or very wrong!?)

The two photos below are where we left it last time:

We'd almost finished the bed, but ran out of border roll. Yesterday we popped the new section in first, it looks a little too new at the moment but a couple of rain showers and it'll blend in nicely!

We also decided to put my Birthday rose in the ground, as it was seeming a little unhappy. Hopefully now it's got a lot more growing room it will perk up a bit. Looks like I need a bigger trellis soon though!

Luckily I had my best gardening tool to hand yesterday. It goes by the name P! He was so patient with me while I took some quick snaps and did all the hefty digging for me too. Maybe this is why I enjoyed it so much... the most 'heavy work' I did was raking the soil with my pretty floral hand fork! I did do some of the digging last time, but I'm super slow and feeble compared to P so it just makes sense this way!

So once he'd dug the trench, I popped in the bulbs and covered them back over. (With my pretty floral hand fork. That thing's amazing!)

The tulips wanted an 8" deep trench, and the daffodils didn't say what they wanted so we popped them in at 8" too. The pack of daffodils I've got has at least three different varieties in and most of the bulbs were the same size, so I can't guarantee a perfect border but that's not what my garden is all about anyway. I alternated the daffs and tulips, popping them a tiny bit closer together than advised in the hope we'll have a flurry of flowers come March.

We then dug a shallow, 2" trench further forward, and I planted the Allium bulbs. These aren't the popular purple pom-pom ones, they're completely different. I'm not entirely sure they're alliums but the packet says so and I'm only a novice!

We then filled that back in and evened out the surface. We also gave the rose a very good water to help it settle in to it's new home. I do hope it's happier now!

A few tips & tricks for bulb planting:

~ Take note of the packet's instructions: each variety may want a different depth in the soil. Too close to the surface can result in rain washing them out, too deep and they may not shoot

~Make sure you plant them facing up, with the roots at the bottom. They're not like seeds; bulbs need to get a head start with their direction

~ Don't give them any water at this time of year, natural rainfall is fine, but too much watering can rot the bulbs

~ If you're likely to forget what you've put where by next March, put markers in so you don't damage bulbs in your spring clean-up

~ Don't panic if you haven't got around to planting your bulbs yet; most packets say plant August to December, so you've got plenty of time. (Now is just an ideal time if you don't want to get chilly hands!)

~ Maybe even plant in stages like me; it works out as a relaxing progress every now and then, rather than being too hard work, all in one day

~ Remember that once everything is planted, you should get spring flowers for the next few years, so your efforts are worth it. Check each bulb packet for life spans

~ Don't think of bulb planting as costly, you can get amazing deals at places like QD and Wilko, with some bulb packs being only 99p

~ Plan now how you want it to look next spring: do you want neat rows or a free, wild array of flowers?

Thanks for reading today and I hope my tips come in handy!

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