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Bulb Growing
Now is the time to get your bulbs growing? We just love bulb growing gardens. Most people have a bulb growing in their garden somewhere and if you need a hand Jim’s Mowing can offer free quotes and all the assistance you will need. Late Winter and early spring is usually when you start to see the first sign of a bulb growing in your garden. Daffodil, Iris, Jonquil, hyacinths and freesias, lily of all kinds and who could overlook Tulips. Bulbs can last for years and although they appreciate some care they can often survive with a minimum of fuss. A little water and either compost or fertilizer and many people enjoy the plants flowering year after year.


Planting Rules Of Thumb
1. Select a site that is sunny and has well drained soil.
2. Plant bulbs in twos or threes in case some do not flower.
3. Plant bulbs at a depth of approximately three times the width of the bulb.
4. After planting, apply fertilizer low in nitrogen, such as a 10-5-5 NPK formulation. See label.
5. Water in well after planting.


In most bulb growing gardens you will find that the bulbs multiply as they grow. So each year you can dig them up, separate them, discard the old dead ones and simply replant the new.


Soil & Mulch
Bulb growing will achieve the best results in compost rich soils. If your soil’s sandy, plant bulbs slightly deeper; in clay soils, slightly shallower. Weeds can be a nuisance and inhibit bulb growing so always try to mulch well. Mulch will also help to keep moisture in the soil over summer.


Timing is important when bulb growing. Spring-flowering bulbs need between 90 and 120 days in the ground to come up and bloom in the spring, so they should be planted in mid to late autumn. Also, you may want to get them planted before they start sprouting. This will ensure a strong route structure and better flowers as
they grow.


Bulb Quality
When starting your bulb growing garden there are a few things to look out for. Firstly when purchasing bulbs, physically pick them up and feel them. Bulbs should be full and firm, not soft or dry and withered. If it feels light then it is possible that it is dry and dead inside. If the bulb is soft it is often a sign of fungal disease. Avoid any bulb that is diseased or physically damaged or has a bad smell. The outer skin of tulips is quite important because it helps to prevent dehydration and damage and should be intact. Bulbs need to be a reasonable size to flower in their first year. Some bulbs, like daffodils, will sometimes have a smaller bulb attached, but these will probably only flower in the second year. The supplier will pick up most problems with bulbs when they are packaging and sorting, but as a consumer it never hurts to double check.


Bulb Growing Tips
Most bulbs need very little attention except a complete bulb fertilizer at planting time, and then again when they have finished flowering. As tempting as it is to cut off the dying foliage – don’t. The foliage helps to provide the bulb energy for next years’ flower.


It is important to remember that if you want to plant tulips, the winters in most Australian states don’t get cold enough to initiate flowering, so they need to be given a short time in the fridge before planting. Between 4 and 8 weeks is usually enough, and somewhere like the crisper is ideal. It is amazing to think that these small dull, lifeless packages will burst into magnificence in spring.
Jim’s Mowing can assist you in all areas of bulb growing so if you need a hand call us for a free quote.