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Carpets of Snowdrops

Can I still plant spring flowering bulbs now?

Bulbs being planted I was asked this question this week, and the person who asked me, had been a bit over enthusiastic at the end of season bulbs sell offs.  I had to admit that I had too, and still had bulbs to plant, - so will they still flower now this season?

Well this isn't the first year that I've gone overboard with buying bulbs, and run out of time and energy to plant them before the Christmas onslaught.  I've normally planted them in pots in the greenhouse at the beginning of January (it's usually my post New Year overindulgence head clearer!) but last year, January was a nightmare in this household with tradesman everywhere, and I didn't get round to planting out the last of my tulips and narcissus until the last weekend in February. March last year was warm, and a lot of tulips came up early, but my pot planted ones came up later than most, and were flowering at just the right time for a client that needed them in Mid May. The Tete a Tete daffodils gave me a show of yellow by the front door after i'd finally got rid of the workman, and the remainder of the tulips were planted in a container on the patio, - these are now poking up again for this year, - i've just spent a while planting up some of this years extras, so i'm hoping for a continueing show of tulips, muscari, crocus and tete a tete, from my pots, when those in the ground have gone over.

So if you've still got bags of bulbs lurking, - as long as they are still firm, and havn't dried out or gone mouldy, plant them in pots and enjoy the display this year, - and let me know how you get on.


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Fiona Humberstone

was that over enthusisatic person me by any chance? I planted mine into pots in January and they're coming up thick and fast. I'm going to put them into my cutting patch once they've finished flowering. Apparently Sarah Raven reckons if you plant them 30cm down then you can leave them for a few years. What do you think to that?

Claire Brown

Hi Fiona, yes you are often an inspiration for my blogging. Tulips, do need to be planted deep to get them to come again, - i'm not sure I manage 30cm, but if they are only a few cm below the surface, they dry out in the summer, and you get very small foliage and no flowers the following year.

Lou in Surbiton

I've got an experiment going with late-planted bulbs.

I moved house in March this year and hurray! we finally have a garden. We found a bag of mixed daffodil and narcissus bulbs in the allotment shed - my husband had planned to plant them all around the edge for a pretty spring display, but they somehow got forgotten - so when we got out in the garden the weekend after we moved house I thought I'd try them out and see what happens.

I picked them over, choosing those that appeared to be still in good condition. Obviously, it being so late in the year some bulbs had started to shoot and others had gone soft or shrivelled. I planted those that might have a chance under the lawn, along the edge with the patio and now it's a wait-and-see game for next Spring. I'll let you know!

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