Many believe that early-mid autumn is the only time window for planting spring-flowering bulbs, but the truth is, if you miss this timeframe, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to plant bulbs. Keep reading to view our tips for planting spring-flowering bulbs in late autumn and winter.
When should you stop planting spring bulbs?
Tulips, Daffodils and all other spring floweringbulbs are normally planted throughout September, October and November. However, if you still have spring bulbs to plant, you can still plant them in December, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. A good rule of thumb is as long as it’s still mild, it isn’t too late. You can even keep planting tulip bulbs into January if the weather allows!
What do you do if the ground is frozen?
If the ground is frozen, there’s another option. Plant your remaining bulbs in pots using potting soil and store them in a dark, cool place over winter (e.g. garage or cellar), until the ground becomes workable again.
Bright, bold, and colourful, Tulips are one of the most popular spring-flowering bulbs that gardeners plant in autumn. Many gardeners may think that you need to get all your bulbs in the ground by October, but this isn’t the case! If you haven’t finished your tulip planting yet, don’t worry, keep reading to find out how long you can plant tulip bulbs.
Why you shouldn’t plant Tulips too early
Tulip bulbs are always so eager to get growing. If you plant them too soon, they’ll send their leaves up right away. This will only freeze them in the winter.
When should you plant Tulips?
Wait to plant tulip bulbs until mid-autumn, up until 6 weeks before a ground-freezing frost is expected. Sometimes, even December (or even later) works best if you live in mild winter areas.
What if i don’t plant them by Christmas?
If you missed planting your bulbs during autumn/early winter and you’ve got a pack of tulips or daffodils laying around in January or February, plant them and take your chances. Here are our top tips for winter bulb planting:
Clear away snow and loosen soil, if possible.
If the ground is totally frozen, scatter fertilizer sparingly and over a larger range than normal.
Place bulbs on top of the soil. Do not press them in, as this will damage the bulb base, where roots form.
Cover with 2-4 inches of aged mulch or finished compost (go for the thicker layer if planting during the height of winter).
Renew mulch covering often with a fresh 2 inch layer.
A wonderful addition to the front of a border or lawn, bulbs in the green are great naturalising bulbs and in spring will provide your garden with a carpet of colour. Our selection of spectacular bulbs in the green are a lovely way to introduce some traditional charm and elegance to your garden.
The main advantage of planting bulbs in the green is that you can be sure that the plants are alive and healthy when you plant them. Planting in the green helps them absorb moisture quickly after they have been planted, as dry, rootless bulbs do not re-establish as well.
Probably one of the easiest bulbs to grow, at J. Parker’s we lift bulbs in the green with their foliage intact , so all you will need to do is replant them on arrival. All our bulbs in the green are supplied from nursery raised stock, and not from the wild.
The original much-loved English Bluebell naturalises bountifully, particularly in the shade of trees where other plants would struggle. These flowers are extremely distinctive in their lilac-blue colour and bell shaped blooms, and due to their fragrance are wonderful for attracting bees, moths and butterflies. Reaching a height of 20-25cm they can also be grown in containers, and so are suitable for gardens of all sizes.
The arrival of snowdrops poking up through the ground is one of the first signs that spring is around the corner. This beautifully traditional plant produces delicate bell-shaped, pure white flowers. Plant in drifts beneath a deciduous tree to give your garden a whimsically woodland feel. Snowdrops reach an approximate height of 10cm and bloom from January through to March.
Eranthis, also known as Winter Aconites, are a relative of the buttercup and add a lovely burst of vibrant yellow to the garden in early spring. Their attractive green flower-shaped foliage grows around the yellow petals, and covers the ground long after the flowers have disappeared. These flowers are easy plants to grow: flowering reliably and often the earliest to bloom in spring.
HOW TO PLANT
For the best chance of success, small spring-flowering bulbs should be planted whilst they have leaves in early spring immediately after they have flowered with their foliage intact. Small bulbs can dry out easily while in storage, so are better lifted while in growth then replanted immediately, rather than as dormant bulbs.
Bluebells, Snowdrops and Eranthis need soil that doesn’t dry out. Therefore, they prefer a location which is sunny in winter but shaded in summer. An ideal place to plant them is under a deciduous tree.
Prepare your chosen planting site before delivery of your plants so that you can plant them as quickly as possible upon arrival.
The ground where they are to be planted should be enriched with compost or well-rotted organic matter.
When your plants arrive in a bundle, gently tease them apart taking care not to damage the roots. Plant within 3 days of delivery.
Plant the bulbs at the same depth they were growing before they were lifted; you can see where this was form the level at which the leaves change from white to green. Everything that was below soil level before lifting is white, but if you’re unsure approximately 8-10cm will be okay.
Back fill the hole and around the bulbs, compacting lightly. Water the plants immediately.
Our Spring 2020 range is out NOW! To shop our lovely collection of Spring plants and bulbs, click here.
Spring is usually the most popular time for planting out summer flowering bulbs. However! February is a great time to begin planting some of the hardier varieties, or for putting them out into pots and containers for a fabulous display. Generally, bulbs prefer a light, well-draining soil – so try to avoid wet and heavy soils. But don’t worry if your garden soil isn’t well-drained, as all the bulbs below are suitable for pots and containers.
Lily bulbs can be planted any time from autumn to spring in a sunny spot, in rich well-drained soil, around 15-20cm deep. If your soil is heavy, wet or badly drained then you could plant in pots or containers for a lovely patio display.
This bright and attractive mixture will produce upright flowers that will add a splash of colour to your garden in the summer. This selection is perfect for exotic-looking pots, containers and borders.
Eucomis bulbs are usually planted in spring, however February is not too early to plant them into pots and containers. If planted in well-drained soil the bulbs should be hardy to around -6 °C . Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in pots for a summer display, or out in the border once actively growing – but only after the last frosts.
Liatris are tough herbaceous perennials originating from North America, and are great for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies. They produce large blooms which eventually form a clump and can be later divided in spring. Plant in light, well-draining soil around 5cm deep.
Need advice and guidance on planting Narcissi and Daffodil bulbs? We’re here to help. Our easy to follow guide will lead you through the planting, a visual tutorial on planting tips and advice to get the best results in your spring garden, through to the aftercare of your plants.
The Narcissi or Daffodil as is it more commonly known, is one of the most recognisable perennial bulbs in the British garden and has been for centuries. The joy that these simple to grow bulbs can bring is prominent in the poem entitled “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth where he stumbled across “a host of golden Daffodils”. The sight of Daffodil flowers dancing adds thoughts of joy and pleasure to the poet and to millions of British gardeners to this day.
There is a huge range of premium Daffodil and Narcissi bulbs available to buy now and plant in autumn, for a superb spring show, ideal for borders, rockeries or pots on the patio. Daffodils are typically synonymous with Spring time. They are a true British favourite and have been cultivated for hundreds of years for their bright and beautiful display of colour in the Spring. We offer over 150 different Daffodils and Narcissi here at J. Parkers with many kinds of these great plants to choose from.
Plant Daffodil bulbs at least 10cm deep in the autumn. Space as desired or plant in clumps for a cluster display. Daffodils prefer a spot well sheltered from the wind, preferably with plenty of access to sun. Best planted in well drained, fertile soil.
To help offer our customers great practical advice alongside our top quality products, our resident gardener Jeff explains in this how-to guide just what it is that makes these Spring flowers a true British favourite and why they’re a must have for any garden. Planting a mixed variety of Daffodils is the perfect way to create a unique blend of colour for your Spring display. Below, we’ve listed some of our great mixtures and collections to get you started!
Keep soil moist during the growing season and allow the leaves to die back naturally before deadheading.
They can be lifted and moved once the foliage has died off or they can be left to naturalise when planted in grass or under trees, where they can be left undisturbed for years.
Planting layered spring bulbs, also known as lasagne planting or double decker pots, is a great way to get a fabulous spring display or a staggered display that lasts several months and keeps delivering colour to your patio.
Getting a long lasting pot display really couldn’t be easier, and we’ve put together this guide along with a complete video tutorial from our expert Jeff Turner to show you exactly how to get the best from your spring patio displays.
All you need is a large pot, some crocks or grit for drainage, good multi-purpose compost and some quality J. Parker’s bulbs. Watch the video below to see how Jeff gets on;
The trick is to plant the larger, later flowering bulbs towards the bottom so that the small, early flowering varieties can flower first early in the season, and as they die off the next lot comes through to continue the display.
In this case we plant our Triumph Tulips first, as Tulips prefer to be planted that bit deeper. We’ve used Triumph Tulips for their tall, strong wind resistant stems and the fantastic variety of colour that goes into our Parker’s mixture.
Next add another layer of compost, and plant your next set. We’ve gone for Narcissi Tete-a-Tete, the most popular dwarf Daffodil known for its versatility and reliability. This will produce traditional golden trumpets on short stems.
The next layer was Hyacinth, specifically a bedding sized mixture for a strong display, and finally the top layer is large flowering Crocus Mixed. This will be the last planted and the first to flower, as these beautiful early spring bulbs will produce a carpet of low-growing colour.
Have you tried this at home? Let us know how you got on!