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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Plant Spring Bulbs in September


September is an ideal month to be planting bulbs for next spring. When buying bulbs, look for the largest size within the type under consideration. Sizes vary quite a lot among varieties. Crocus for example which are officially classified as a corm, are small compared to the narcissus and many tulip bulbs.

Some early flowering and species tulips are smaller than the hybrid cottage and Darwin types.Most imported Dutch bulbs are sized by centimeters. Bulbs can be purchased from bulb catalogs, open bins and convenience pre-packs. Check the bulb's quality before purchasing and discard any with signs of rot or fungus. This is easier to do when purchasing bulbs from an open bin rather than in packages.

Check carefully the bulbs you select for bruising and mechanical damage and signs of mold or mildew. Don't consider bulbs that have already started into growth as they may not develop correctly for flowering in the Spring. Follow the guidance for each bulb as to the planting depth required.

Get the bulbs in early, preferably by the middle of September (tulips however can be planted up to November). But beware that bulbs may flower poorly if they are planted late or after lengthy storage in poor conditions. As most bulbs originally come from areas with dry summer climates they will prefer a warm, sunny, well-drained site. Improve light or sandy soils with garden compost and heavy soils with compost plus grit.

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