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Top tips for planting spring flowering bulbs

5 Minute Read
Fill your garden with a crescendo of colour in time for spring!
Daffodils, iris,crocus, hyacinth -  just some of the many spring bulbs you can plant between late summer into autumn for a bold bonanza of colour that'll brighten your garden up after a long, dark winter.

Keep reading to find out some of our top tips to get your bulbs in bloom.

While early spring bulbs can be planted from September onwards, November is the time to plant out tulip bulbs.

Check and check again
Always check your bulbs for any sign of disease, if in doubt, don't plant them out. Planting diseased bulbs means you run the risk of spreading diseases to your other plants. 

Take a look at your soil
It's always worth checking your soil as this is where everything starts. Good soil means good growth. If you're planting bulbs in pots, use good quality compost such as Melcourt Sylvagrow Multipurpose Growing Medium, it's peat-free and contains sufficient nutrients for the first 4-6 weeks of growth.

Mix it up
Try dropping your bulbs and allowing them to scatter, then plant wherever they land. Planting like this means they'll look more natural once in bloom. However, if you like your bulbs organised and uniform, this is okay too - plant in whatever way works for your layout. Scatter the bulbs between a sunny and a semi-shaded spot. Tulips, however, prefer a sunny area. 

Plant your bulbs at least four inches deep and around 5 inches apart

Need a hand? We love the Bulldog 6" Planting Dibber, it's a great addition to your gardening toolbox.

Layering your bulbs in pots
The lasagne planting method is a great way to add extra substance to your plant pots and patio. 

Firstly, organise and prepare bulbs for planting across 3 sections. Ensure the pot has ample drainage holes so that water doesn't pool at the bottom, this'll protect the bulbs from disease and bacteria.

Next, start with a layer of gravel, this aids with drainage, then add a relatively deep layer of soil. The first bulbs you plant will be those that will flower last. These should be planted around 1 inch apart.

Add another layer of soil over the bottom layer of bulbs until covered, repeat the process again with the middle layer of bulbs and cover again with soil.

The final layer of bulbs will be those that flower first. Add your final layer of soil until the bulbs are covered and top with a layer of mulch or gravel and give them a good watering. 

TIP: Select a mix of bulbs with varying flowering times for long-lasting displays and make sure to deadhead once the plants die back to keep pots tidy.

Get potting
If you're planting in pots or containers, make sure your pot is the right size for the bulbs based on the above planting advice. Be sure to select a pot with an adequate drainage hole. We stock a wide range of pots to suit every style and budget.
Squirrels beware
Many will understand the frustration of spending your precious time, mindfully planting only to later discover a squirrel has redesigned your garden for you; thanks, but no thanks... A layer of pot topper gravel or mesh wire works well at deterring squirrels from digging up freshly planted bulbs.

All that's left now is to get your gloves on and to get out in the garden, happy planting!

Industry Insiders: Arundel Castle Gardens

we had the opportunity to explore the incredible gardens and talk to Martin Duncan, head gardener at Arundel Castle. Take a break and read about the preparation that goes on during autumn in time for the tulip bonanza in spring!

Spring bulb essentials 

Olive planter 40cm - cream

Layer spring bulbs in one of our exclusive cream effect planters for maximum effect. Just imagine your favourite spring flowers as they start to emerge!


Terracotta Bulb Plant Pots

Manufactured in tough and hardwearing plastic and predrilled with drainage holes, ideal for planting bulbs and shallow-rooted plants.


Sylvagrow multipurpose 

Melcourt Sylvagrow Multipurpose is a unique blend of fine bark, wood fibre and coir. plus sterilised loam and sand. Does not contain peat or green waste compost.

Pot toppers & gravel

Stop pests from digging up your container bulbs with a layer of decorative stone, remember to remove before your bulbs start poking through in spring!

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