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Planting for autumn bulbs for spring colour

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

One of the most rewarding projects in gardening is planting autumn bulbs. It’s one of the easiest gardening projects to undertake with a fantastic return on your time and labour with a spring show of color that rarely fails. 

Autumn garden bulb projects. 

Crocusone of the earliest flowering spring bulbs ideally for planting in lawns as they flower early and die back before you have to carry out the first cut to your lawn in the spring providing a spectacular display of colour.

Ideally for the best effect you need to plant in drifts of 20 to 80 bulbs all in one colour.

With crocus it’s important to get the planting depth correct, ideally they need to be two to two and a half times the size of the bulb below the surface of the soil or turf.


Dwarf Daffodilsideal  for early spring colour, planted in herbaceous borders in between the herbaceous pants and and shrubs they will flower before the herbaceous pants spring into late spring growth. Flowering in the early spring colour, planted in groups Dwarf Daffodils can provide  a spectacular display and will die back and be covered by the herbaceous plants after flowering creating a low maintenance situation. 


Tulipsthe most spectacular of the spring bulbs available in many colours and stem lengths ideal to create a carpet of colour hovering over the spring flowering plants such as Myosotis and pansies. Tulip bulbs mainly grown in Holland sold around the world have the best return on colour for investment of any flower in the gardeners arsenal for providing spring colour in the garden. 


Iris reticulata a very early spring flowering bulb with a striking blue flower simply potting 6 to 8 bulbs in a small clay pot with some John Innes soil based compost covered with golden gravel or horticultural grit will provide a spectacular spring display lasting for several weeks.


General gardening tips for planting autumn bulbs 

As a general rule plant depth for bulbs needs to be two to three times the size of the bulb into the ground as a planting depth guide. In heavy clay soil it’s a good idea to dig in some horticultural grit or sharp sand to open up the soil to help with drainage.


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