BULBS! Its still not too late to re-plant your GCG and prepare for 2020

Its still not too late to re-plant your Green Circle Garden for an eye-popping display early 2020. By now most of your planter compositions may need an update or complete removal. Your soil can be re-used for planting beautiful bulbs which will make root over winter and flower in 6-10weeks. There are many varieties and the result is well worth a trip to your local garden center and a little pottering.

How to Grow Bold and Beautiful Bulbs

  1. Buy Lots of Bulbs

There are golden rules that ensure success for bulbs.  Splurge and buy 40-60 to get that eye-popping display you covet from magazine pages. It’s better to buy too many than not enough.

Try not to by buy a bag of mixed colored bulbs. When this mix blooms, it’s colorful but not dramatic. All the colors combine to create a confetti effect which isn’t particularly striking. The trick is to buy fewer single colors. If you decide to buy 60 tulips, buy 20 of three different colors. Or you can try 30 each of two different colors. When planted these quantities produce a discernible zone of color that reads like a field rather than just a few individuals. Place string or similar and use as guidelines when planting your bulbs. Choose a colored bulb of your choice and place to create your own design.

In Holland where most big bulbs are grown, they sell by their circumference. Keep that in mind when shopping – look for big fat bulbs. If you go to the trouble of planting 60 bulbs, you want that effort to be rewarded with large showy plants and flowers. Buying from a catalog means you don’t have the ability to compare sizes. You get what they send you. So be picky and choose only a reputable mail-order house that deals in top-quality stock.

Inadequate nutrition is one reason that some bulbs seem to decline each year after you plant them. The bulbs you plant in fall have all the energy inside them to produce a whole plant. This was stored from last year under the growers’ strict fertilizer regimen. Your soil probably won’t have that kind of nutrition, so adding fertilizer ensures there’s lots of food in the root zone. This is vital to aftercare, which too often goes neglected. Once flowers fade the plant will shift to a vegetative growth phase when the leaves work hard to produce enough food to store in the bulb for next year.

After a long winter, nothing is more anticipated than spring tulips and narcissus. The fragrance and the color are probably more appreciated than any other plant in the garden. But you’ve got to plan ahead and plant now to reap such a harvest.