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Bulbs are the starting point for many of the most beautiful flowers, including universal favourites like tulips and lilies. As such, they’re something that any new gardener should be looking to get to grips with. One of the most important things to know when dealing with bulbs is that they have different growing seasons: in other words, certain varieties need to be planted at certain times of the year.
Essentially, bulbs are split into three different types:
These bulbs require a chilling period in order for them to really come to life. Rather handily, they’re typically planted in late autumn, meaning that winter comes along at just the right time to be the chilling period! Spring bloomers – as you might have guessed by the name – will start to sprout and flower at the beginning of the spring, making them perfect for the earliest warm days of the year.
These bulbs absolutely love to gorge on toasty summer sun, which means it’s generally best to get them in the early spring. If you do this, they’ll normally flower by mid to late summer. For some people, though, their climate will render early spring planting impossible; if that’s the case, then wait until late spring or summer (a good way to time it is to put them in at the same time as you would tomatoes). You should plant summer bloomers in as warm an area as possible and give them regular doses of an all-purpose fertiliser.
Fall-blooming bulbs are some of the most beautiful, including such lovely flowers as the autumn crocus, winter daffodils and certain species of snowdrops. What’s more, fall-bloomers are nearly always easier to maintain than their counterparts! Try and get them planted in late summer (as soon as the bulbs become available), and they’ll start sending their leaves up within a few weeks. You can then enjoy a beautiful late-summer floral display.
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