Four steps to enjoying summer bulbs
Everyone's acquainted with them, right? Calla lilies, dahlias and lilies: summer bulbs that light up your garden with gorgeous flowers. Besides these stars of the show, there are also some mysterious strangers like Eucomis and Ixia: interesting, too, and really worth getting to know. Plant all of these unique little jewels in the spring to make your garden glow with colour all summer long. How to do this? It's easy - just follow the four steps.
Step 1 Select
Take a stroll through your garden sometime and look for empty spots. Keep in mind how tall your bulbous plants could grow in these spots. Then comes the fun part: start imagining which flower bulbs could give your garden a boost of colour. When you buy your summer bulbs, don't forget to pick up some compost to really pamper them.
Step 2 The basis: full and rich
Before actually planting the bulbs, empty the bag of compost over the border and fork it into their new home. This enriches the soil - something the bulbs will love and will get them rooting quickly.
Step 3 Plant
It's easy to remember when to plant summer bulbs: on a warm spring day when you're just itching to get out into your garden. You can easily wait until nice weather as long as the bulbs are planted no later than May. They shouldn't be planted very deep because they need the warmth of the sun to grow. It's this upper layer of soil that warms up quickly during the spring, and warmth is exactly what the bulbs love.
Step 4 Fertilise
Right after planting, give your summer bulbs a nice big drink of lukewarm water to get them off to a quick start. Once they're well on their way, provide some extra fertiliser (just mix it with the water in your watering can) and be rewarded with even more flowers.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs during April/May.
- Plant summer bulbs in groups to make them even more eye-catching.
Did you know that...
- Summer bulbs are wonderful for attracting butterflies? Dahlias in particular are favourites with butterflies.
- You can also plant summer bulbs in pots? Be sure to use pots with holes in the bottom and to put some expanded clay pebbles or shards in before the potting compost to let any excess water escape.