Caring for naturalised bulbs

Posted: Tuesday 21 February 2012
by Pippa Greenwood

When we first moved here, years ago [...] I managed to plant sack after sack of bulbs, and I’ve added to them over the years, particularly on the bank flanking the drive.

Naturalised daffodils

The last bit of compacted snow has finally disappeared and it is great to see the whole garden revealed as spring approaches.

When we first moved here, years ago, it was impossible to garden much as most of the place was buried under junk and builders’ debris. Eventually, though, I managed to plant sack after sack of bulbs, and I’ve added to them over the years, particularly on the bank flanking the drive.

They haven’t done badly; I planted the first batch while heavily pregnant, and now my children are as tall or taller than me and the bulbs are still going strong.

However, recently I noticed a couple of ‘blind bulbs’ with lush foliage but no flower. I started feeding them all last weekend (naturalised bulbs that have been in the ground for a few years benefit from a regular boost in nutrient levels).

I should have dealt with a couple of crowded clumps last year, but didn’t. So I’ve marked them with a short cane, with the intention of giving them extra TLC. In the autumn I’ll lift and divide these clumps to give each bulb more space, and fresh soil.

I’ve also been very busy in the greenhouse, sowing and pricking out tomatoes in my temperature-controlled heated propagator, after being tempted by yet more new tomato varieties.

I’m relieved that the weather is warming up, as I may have been too early with some of my pepper and tomato sowings. Right now the little plants want more light than they can get through the propagator lids. But I need to use the propagators to give them warmth and protect them from the ever-hungry mouse, which has returned after being banished a few weeks ago.

Roll on spring proper - I just can’t wait.

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donutsmrs 22/02/2012 at 18:07

I naturalised bulbs in my lawn several years ago. A couple of years ago we started to alter the front garden and where the bulbs were was where all the rubbish was put and even a bonfire. Now we have laid a new lawn and just the other day several crocus have popped their heads through and are now in flower, it was such a lovely surprise. All my tomato plants are growing really well and I've sown herbs this week as well, they are in their propagators sat on my kitchen window cill. It is so nice to be out in the garden again.

Country Boy 26/02/2012 at 12:36

What and when should I feed bulbs naturalising in rough grass ?
I have daffodils, crocus, camassia, fritillaries, spanish bluebells and scilla.

kaycurtis 06/03/2012 at 03:15

Dear Pippa, will you have to wait until the bulbs have been lifted and devided to find out whether the blind bulbs have responded to feeding, would you have to mark them to follow their progress, will they be good next year or is it the long wait. Kay