Autumn is officially here and sadly the days are quickly getting shorter. With the recent downpour the ground is wet and perfect for bulb planting. Planting now is ideal as it will allow the bulbs to take root and establish themselves before the winter.
There are certain plants which thrive when planted during these months. You can grow daffodils, hyacinths and alliums, which are all due to be planted in September and October. Tulips should be planted from late October to early December, so hold off a little while longer for them. To ensure the bulbs grow back year after year, be sure to plant the bulbs deeply in the ground or pot – preferably twice the depth of the bulb.
Gardening in Balham over Autumn can produce great flowers. Here is what we’d recommend to get the most out of your bulbs:
- Dig a hole or trench, and spread a thin layer of compost over the bottom
- Push the bulbs in the base of the hole, pointy end up, and leave a gap of about 3 times the bulb’s width between each bulb
- Cover them with compost (peat free of course!)
- After planting, pat the soil down with your hand to avoid air pockets, and water them a little
If you’re worried about squirrels digging the bulbs up, you can always sprinkle some pepper or chilli flakes over the soil. It will deter the squirrels without harming them. Laying chicken wire over the pots or planted areas is also an option.
If you decide to plant your bulbs in pots, follow the same depth principles as when they are grown in the ground. It may be more of a challenge for bigger bulbs.
Be sure to plant alliums, hyacinths and tulips in full sun and in well drained soil. Daffodils are happy in the sun but will also thrive in partial shade.
Happy planting! Feel free to comment with your own planting experiences, or share your tips and photos with us on social media with the hashtag: #BeautifyBalham
– Justine and the Beautify Balham Team