Plant bulbs in a container
Bulbs spoil us with such a beautiful display in spring, and the best thing about them is that you don't need a garden to be able to grow and enjoy them. Most bulbs can easily be grown in pots, and by layering the container with different varieties, you can enjoy a prolonged and impressive display. Generally, you can plant bulbs in any size container, but you do want to plant the bulb at least three times as deep as the bulb itself. Do ensure that the container has drainage holes as you don't want your bulbs to sit in wet soil and rot over the winter. Gather your favourite bulb varieties and let’s get planting!
1. Gather your gear
- Terracotta Pot - Variety of healthy bulbs - Light and well-draining soil mixture - Mulch (gravel / wood chips) Tip: When selecting bulbs, choose those that are plump and firm, and avoid bulbs that have mould growing on them.
2. Prepare the pot
Cover the drainage hole with a piece of pot to ensure excess water can escape. Most bulbs prefer well-drained soil and will rot if their feet stay wet for a prolonged time. Soil mix: one part potting soil, one part compost, one part coarse sand, and little bulb fertiliser. Fill the pot with soil mix to a minimum depth of 10 cm for the roots to grow in, and add bonemeal or superphosphate to encourage strong root growth.
3. Plant the first layer of bulbs
Start by placing the larger bulbs at the bottom. Make sure you know which side is up and which is down (some bulbs may differ). Usually, if the bulb has a ‘pointy’ end, that side goes up, alternatively, examine the bulbs for root remnants at the base. You can place them quite close together, up to a bulbs distance apart.
4. Cover the first layer with soil
Add a few more centimetres of soil mix to cover the tips of first layer of bulbs and even it out slightly.
5. Add the second layer of bulbs
Place the second layer of bulbs in the container, smaller varieties can be planted in this layer is smaller varieties than the first. If there is enough space in the container, add a third layer of bulbs.
6. Cover with soil
Cover the top layer of bulbs with soil and fill the container to about 3 cm from the top. Gently firm down to remove any air pockets in the soil.
7. Cover with mulch, and water
When the pot is almost full, add a layer of gravel mulch. Water gently until the soil mix is fully moistened. Keep the pot moist during the winter to encourage strong root growth and store the bulbs in a cool area. Now you can look forward to a pot of colourful blooms in spring!