If you want a colourful spring, you often have to get to work as early as autumn. It is no different with bulb flowers, which can be planted in the garden soil or in pretty planters as early as mid-September. The diverse assortment has a suitable bulbous flower for every taste and requirement. Find out how to plant bulbs so that nothing stands in the way of next year’s flowering splendour.
Planting bulbs: Anticipation plays a part
Bulb plants and flower bulbs are easy and quick to plant and can even fit into small gardens. Only a few months after planting do the little powerhouses show what they are made of. Flower bulbs are therefore usually offered in packaging with a photo of the flowering plant and information on size, planting depth and flowering time, among other things. In common parlance, the term flower bulbs often also refers to tubers and rhizomes, which are also planted now in autumn and are part of the flower bulb assortment. From a botanical point of view, however, they are different.
Planting bulbs is associated with much anticipation of the spring season. The delicate blossoms of snowdrops, crocuses and other early bloomers indicate that winter is finally coming to an end. Creative ideas can thus be tried out, and in spring there is great joy when the bulb flowers bloom all at once in an almost magical way.
Tip: When the planting season for bulbs is coming to an end and it is already wet and uncomfortable outside, it is still easy to plant in pots. Some people simply put a few bulbs or tubers between other plants in the balcony boxes and let themselves be surprised by the spring.
Why plant bulbs in autumn?
Flower bulbs have already stored the plants for the future. So they also bring the nutrients they need for their development. That is why they grow quite quickly after the winter.
It may seem strange that tulips, daffodils and the like are planted before winter. But this corresponds to their natural rhythm: they need the winter cold and the subsequent rising temperatures as a signal that spring is coming.
In nature, it is important for many species to grow quickly, flower and form seeds before the deciduous woody plants sprout. Early budding allows many bulbous flowers to photosynthesise. This ensures their survival without competing with shrubs and trees for light.
Planting bulbs – it depends on the species
The importance of low temperatures also becomes clear when cultivating dwarf iris, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs in pots for the home. This is because the bulbs need to be exposed to low temperatures for a long period of time. So only if you give them the illusion of winter will they later flower as beautifully and luxuriantly as is appropriate for their species.
Planting summer-flowering bulbs in spring
The situation is quite different with dahlias, gladioli and many other summer-flowering bulbs and tubers. Because they come from climatically mild regions such as Mexico or South Africa, they do not need a winter cold stimulus – quite the opposite. Many of them are sensitive to frost. The planting time therefore ranges from March to May, depending on the species.
Planting flower bulbs: explained step by step
What you need:
High-quality, spring-flowering bulbs or tubers (no brown or rotten spots should be visible). Planting wood or hoe Digging fork for loosening the soil, if necessary If necessary, galvanised wire vole baskets.
How to plant the bulbs:
Choose the appropriate location depending on the species. Most spring-flowering bulbs need sufficient sunlight for the short time that they appear on the surface of the soil. Planting time for flower bulbs should be on a day when the soil is slightly moist and not frozen. Remove large stones and weeds. Carefully loosen compacted soil with a digging fork and, depending on individual requirements, work in sand and/or compost if necessary. If you want to plant larger areas with flower bulbs, it is helpful to lay the bulbs out on the soil first in order to optimally maintain the individual planting distances. Then use a hoe or a planting stick to poke the planting holes into the ground. One bulb or corm should be planted two to three times as deep as the bulb is high. A vole basket protects against feeding damage. Always plant the bulb with the pointed side up and the rounded side down. Water thoroughly - and you're done!
Many of the spring flowering bulbs are perennials
Bulbs can embellish the spring garden in many different ways. Some, such as snowdrops, ray anemones, dogtooths, snowdrops, porcelain flowers, various crocuses, grape hyacinths, winter bulbs and other smaller bulb species spread independently and also flower again in the following years.
The prerequisite for this is that the location suits them and they are not disturbed by hoeing or the like. They go wild and then form beautiful flower carpets under sparse trees, in lawns or meadows.
Many of these bulbs are also a valuable source of food for bumblebees and other early-starting insects, because only a few plants flower early in the year.