Spring might seem far away, but autumn is the perfect time to plant bulbs so they’ll bloom next year in beautiful colours! Read our blog to get some inspiration for your spring garden so you can get planting this autumn.
How To Plant Spring Bulbs
Spring bulbs need planting in the autumn. This is because the ground is still warm enough for the bulbs to develop and establish their root system, which is essential for them to bloom next spring, rather than in the summer.
Bulbs have to be planted at the right depth in order to grow successfully. Too shallow and they will only flower in the first year, but too deep and they won’t flower at all! As a general rule, each bulb should be planted at a depth around 3 times its own height.
Plant the bulbs around two bulb-widths apart from each other to ensure they have space to grow and flower.
Spring bulbs can be planted both directly into the ground and in pots. They don’t like sitting in wet soil, as this can cause them to rot, so be sure that wherever you plant them has good drainage.
There are loads of kinds of spring bulbs. Here are a few of our favourites to inspire you!
Daffodils are one of the first bulbs that will need planting, as they’re one of the first flowers to appear in the spring, aim to get the bulbs in the ground in September.
They work really well in a huge range of different gardens. Different daffodils will show different colourings, but they’re usually bright yellow and sometimes have orange centres, although there are some paler varieties too. They’re a flower that’s much celebrated because it’s one of the first signs of spring!
There’s a variety of tulip for every setting, garden and aesthetic with a range of different colours available. You can choose a colour of tulip to complement and contrast with other spring bulbs you’re planting so you produce displays with a stunning range of colours.
Tulips need planting later than daffodils, but still in drier areas and with as much sunlight as possible. Aim to get them in the ground at least 6 weeks before the first frost is likely to arrive. October is a good time, but you can usually also plant them in November.
If there hasn’t been any rain for a week, water the tulip beds once a week until the first frost — but there’s no need to do this if it has rained.
Crocuses are a perennial spring flower, which means that they flower for multiple years. These are another very early spring flower that pushes through the ground when it’s still cold — sometimes before the frosts have even finished!
Snow crocuses are the earliest to bloom, but there are loads of other kinds that make beautiful additions to the garden. They can be planted in almost any area of the garden as they’re a little less fussy than tulips, but still need an area with good drainage. You can fertilise the soil by working in compost or organic mulch before planting, but this isn’t a requirement.
Crocuses can be planted around the same time as tulips, at least 6 weeks before the first frosts are expected — so October or November.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the valley is a really delicate flower, but it’s prized for its beautiful fragrance. It’s a woodland plant, which makes it perfect as a ground covering flower and means it’s more tolerant of shady spots. Plant these mid-September to October to enjoy their clean and sweet fragrance next spring.
There are loads of other spring bulbs that you could plant this autumn for a display next year! Try snowdrops, hyacinths, irises and camassia, among many others. It works well to plant lots of different flowers so you get a range of spring blooms to make your garden look really fantastic.