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Bulbs in pots15 September 2011
Potted bulbs are a welcome early addition to the patio in spring, says Kris
LOTS OF spring flowering bulbs bring a bit of elegance to the early season patio, helping to calm displays of blowsy pansies and primroses. And on open ground, if you don’t want the hassle of lifting bulbs after flowering, pots can be dotted around bare soils in the garden, to fill the gap until border plants come into their own later in the spring season.
The joy of working with bulbs in containers, is that once they are planted up, they can be pretty much forgotten about until they break through the surface in February to May – just don’t let them dry out. Even then, winter weather should take care of watering.
There are a few key things to think about when planting spring containers in autumn. Firstly, only use frost-proof pots. Your containers will be exposed to everything our winters can throw at them, and it would be a real shame for pots to fall apart a few weeks before your bulbs come out.
Secondly, no bulb likes sitting in wet, so drainage is key. I place grit in the bottom of all my bulb displays and use free-draining specialist bulb compost to prevent bulbs getting too wet.
Whichever bulbs you choose to pot up, follow the steps below for success next spring.
1. Add a good inch or two of grit to the bottom of your chosen pot for good drainage.
2. Add at least two inches (5cm) of bulb compost, firm down, and set out your bulbs
3. Cover with the required depth of compost, gently firm and level, then cover with grit and water in.