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Who would have thought an ugly onion looking object could grow into something as beautiful as this?
Autumn, specifically mid-March to late May, is the ideal time to plant Spring flowering bulbs in Australia. And you don’t need a garden to be able to experience pleasure as the first green tendrils breaking free from the earth at the first signs of Spring.
Bulbs can be planted in pots or vases to brighten up your interior, window boxes or gardens with fully portable displays. Not only are they considered to be low maintenance and easy to grow even for the rookie gardener, watching their foliage and flowers unfold from an odd looking onion into an object of beauty is pure magic.
Daffodils, Jonquils, Tulips, Amaryllis Lilies, Hyacinth, Bluebells, Snowdrops, Anemones, Freesias, Alliums, Ranunculi, Dutch Iris, Grape Hyacinth, and more…
GROWING BULBS IN POTS
Step One: Select a deep pot or container with good drainage, preferably at least 3-4 times the depth of the bulbs you are planting.
Step Two: Fill your pot with a commercial potting mix (don’t add manures or compost). A slow release fertilizer can be mixed into the potting mix and applied each year as the bulbs emerge. (1)
Step Three: Plant your bulbs with the pointed side facing upwards (the only exception to this is Anemone and Ranunculi, if you are unsure you can always plant bulbs on their side and they will always grow upwards!). Aim to plant them twice as deep as the height of the bulb and the same distance apart as a general guide. (2)
Step Four: Sit your pot in the shade until the leaves get to around 10cm, then place in full sun. Once flowers start to open, bring your pot indoors for everyone to enjoy. (3)
Step Five: Pots should be kept moist but not wet throughout the growing season, until the foliage dies off completely, to ensure the bulb is able to generate the energy it requires to produce next year’s flowers. Don’t be tempted to cut off the yellowing foliage!
Step Six: Once dormant, they should be planted in the garden to recover for the next season, protected from summer heat and excess water if possible. They are unlikely to re-flower consecutively each year if left in their pot, unless they are in an extremely large container.(2)
Groups of containers planted with a variety of flowering bulbs make a spectacular display.
According to www.homelife.com.au, Daffodils, tulips and hyacinths are all “excellent bulbs for small containers”.
Their website recommends to plant “pansies on top of the bulbs will soften the effect and the bulbs will grow through a carpet of colour”.
“Colour code your pansies to contrast or complement the colour of your bulbs, whatever your colour scheme. I like to plant 7-9 bulbs into each pretty pot; don’t be stingy!” (3)
To get the most out of a limited amount of planting space, This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook likes to make a thick “bulb sandwich.” “All you need to do is dig one big hole, then layer in three bulb varieties according to their different bloom times,” says Roger. “Crocuses, tulips, and daffodils are a good trio.”
According to Roger, “Spring will bring sequential waves of flowers in the same spot. As the early-blooming crocuses fade, they will be followed a couple of weeks later by fresh-faced tulips, then, in another few weeks, a raft of daffodils. An added bonus: Each plant’s new growth will help camouflage the wilting flowers and leaves of its predecessors”.
“The hole should be 25cm deep, but can be any size or shape. A 30cm diameter planting area, for example, can accommodate 7 to 9 daffodil bulbs. Follow the earlier instructions for depth of planting and spacing”.
“After covering those deep bulbs with 10 – 13cm of soil, put in 9 to 12 tulips, which do best 12 – 15cm below the surface. Add another 5 – 8cm of soil, and the planting area is ready for 12 to 15 small crocus bulbs. Fill the hole to the top with more soil and soak the area with water. Keep it moist throughout the fall, then leave it dry until spring. The reward is a four- to six-week-long feast of flowers”. (5)
3. http://www.homelife.com.au/gardening/how to grow/autumn bulb planting ,5042
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