Frequently Asked Questions About Flower Bulbs (2)
DutchGrown customers are passionate gardeners. Every day my inbox is full of questions from people who want to get the most out of their flower bulbs. In this previous blog I answered a first selection of frequently asked questions. Today I’ll be answering a second selection, helping you navigate the exciting world of flower bulbs. Happy Gardening!
How do I plant flower bulbs?
Start by loosening the soil with a spade, so it’s easier to work. Then with either a spade or a specialized bulb planter, you dig a hole. Put the bulbs in with their points facing up and fill the hole back up with the soil. When it’s closed tamp the surface, but only gently.
How deep and how far apart should my flower bulbs be planted?
The secret is in the number three: Between the bulbs you want to keep a distance of three times the diameter of the bulb, and in the ground you use three times the height of the bulb as your guideline for planting depth. So a bulb with a diameter of 2 inches should be planted at 6 inches deep and also 6 inches away from other bulbs.
How come my daffodils are blooming some much later this year than their first year?
Daffodils are naturalizing bulbs, and in the years after their first planting they will bloom about two weeks later than the first time around. So if you want to make color combinations or coordinate spring blooms, do not forget to factor this in.
Why are the same kinds of bulbs priced differently? What’s the difference between the cheap and the expensive ones?
The answer is size. Dutch flower bulbs are rated by ‘caliber’, the circumference of their widest area. The larger the bulb, the more flowers, the longer the blooming time, the bigger the flower and the more fragrant it yields. Big top sized bulbs are grown for a couple of years to get this size and therefore the more it costs. Cheaper bulbs are younger and smaller and for us it is planting material in Holland so we harvest the best quality the next year. If you want to be guaranteed a big, showy display make sure to go for the largest caliber flower bulb. Here at DutchGrown we’re very proud to only export the highest quality, largest caliber bulbs, to give you the stunning effect your garden or balcony deserves.
Is there any way I can keep squirrels and deer from digging up my flower bulbs?
Fun and cute as they can be in Disney movies, somehow they’re less sympathetic once they’ve destroyed your painstakingly planted garden. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to keep them out. They don’t like the taste of daffodils, once they ever eat a daffodil they will never eat it again.. but crocuses are their favorite snack. There are a few things you can do however: You can buy a bottled repellent at your garden centre. You could plant some fritillaria imperialis, which smells disgusting to deer and squirrels. Another thing you can do is lay mesh wire or chicken wire on top of the bed. Lastly, after you’ve planted the tulips, make sure the soil is tamped down well, and you haven’t left any debris like the papery layers around bulbs lying around, as its scent lets these pests know there’s something nice to be had there.
Are there any spots in my garden that are unsuitable for flower bulbs?
The main factor that decides whether a flower bulb will thrive or whither is well-draining soil. So avoid planting your bulbs in hollows or low spots, or under drain spouts. Too much moisture will make flower bulbs rot. There are a few exceptions though, the Chequered Fritillary, the Camassia and the Leucojum love that swampy feel, and do very well in soggy soil.
The ground is frozen rock-hard. How do bulbs not die in that cold?
Nature has designed flower bulbs in such a way that they can handle freezing temperatures. When the soil around the bulbs freezes, so does the water in the bulb. However, this doesn’t harm the cells in the bulb. Instead, the cold creates a reaction in the cells that will keep it safe and snug.
Do I need to use mulch? How?
Flower bulbs don’t need mulch to grow. However, if you want to keep the soil moist and maintain a cool, stable soil temperature, mulch can help. Apply about three inches when the ground is cool, just before ground frost. Don’t apply mulch when it’s still warm, as it may attract mice and other critters. They like to live in it during the cold winter months, and use your flower bulbs as a tasty snack…
Now that you know all this you are more than equipped to turn your beds or pots into a flowery paradise. DutchGrown has the best & biggest flower bulbs and we deliver them straight to your door at the perfect planting time. Order now, plant in the fall, and come spring you’ll be greeted by a beautiful display of instant happy-makers!