Bulbs in the Green
What a welcome pleasure it is to wake up to a sunny blue sky. Spring bulbs are bursting into life and it seems that every day there is something new to enjoy.
This is always an interesting time of year for the gardener. Before the deciduous trees come into leaf you have a chance to see the architecture of the garden. During the recent storms, I lost two large trees and whilst they will be missed, new opportunities have been created. Their absence changes the way sunlight radiates around the garden and one small border will now welcome sun loving plants. Do I need more or am I in danger of losing the woodland feel of the garden? Something to ponder, but I suspect I will plant new trees.
Whatever, I am going to have to rescue some snowdrops and crocus that are now standing alone and need help if they are going to thrive. I have noticed that particularly snowdrops are popping everywhere this year, maybe thanks to birds or overactive small mammals last autumn.
Many of the spring bulbs, especially where they have been undisturbed for four or five years will benefit from lifting and division. Large clumps competing for water and nutrients can lead to a lack of flowers, bulbs coming up “blind”. As a bonus, you get to increase your stocks. For the smaller bulbs, while they are in “the green”, spring is an ideal time to do this. Many are hard to find if the job is left until the autumn. Below are the main considerations to bear in mind.
- Only divide the clumps when the bulbs have finished flowering. Much of the energy needed to
bulk up the bulb will come from the sugars in the plant, not just the roots.
- This is a job to do when the ground is damp. If you have a dry area water an hour before you
- As far as possible try and lift the bulbs as one clump. Gently break the soil apart into clusters
of half a dozen bulbs if they are small and immature, or single bulbs where they are of a good
- Prepare the ground thoroughly working in any additional compost as required and replant the
bulbs to the same depth as they were originally planted.
- Give them a good watering and look forward to next year’s show.
Time to get back outside and enjoy the sunshine!