• Our Top 10 Bulb Planting Tips

    autumn leavesNow Autumn has put in her first appearance and the summer gardens are coming to an end the time is now for planting spring flowering bulbs. To help you in your gardening efforts we’ve put our heads together and come up with our TOP 10 BULB PLANTING HINTS AND TIPS. Do let us know if you have any you’d like to share for the next edition of the newsletter!

    1) Prepare your soil by adding garden compost and, in heavy soils, horticultural grit and sand. For containers use a mix of John Innes No.2 with a little added grit.

    2) Squirrels, rabbits etc just love tulip, crocus and iris bulbs (amongst others). Aside from choosing Animal Resistant bulbs (use our special filter on the website) try planting your bulbs in an open weave net bag, such as an onion bag making sure the holes are big enough for the shoots to come through. Plant the whole bag in the ground and deprive the furry critters of their bulb feast.

    3) For a good rule of thumb, plant your bulbs three to four times as deep as they are high. Tulips and daffodils should be planted at least 15cm deep.

    Crocus Aitchisonii Naturalising bulbs such as crocuses look great in a lawn

    4) Running out of space in your garden? Try planting a mix of early flowering, naturalising bulbs such as snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils in your grass. Plant them using a bulb planter randomly across the lawn for a natural splash of spring colour.

    5) If you’re not sure where you have gaps in your spring planting try planting a selection of bulbs in pots ready to transplant into the spaces once the shoots start to show.

    6) Not all bulbs need dry conditions to flourish. In damp areas try Camassias or Fritillaria Meleagris.


    7) Not all bulbs need sun! Erythronium, Wood Anemone and Scilla Bifolia or Siberica all do well in the shade.

    8) Try using layer planting in containers for weeks of flowers or plant en masse in your borders for dramatic effect. Give us a call if you’d like more help with choosing suitable varieties.

    9) Water your bulbs as soon as you have planted them. This encourages root growth.

    10) If left in the ground, tulips degenerate year on year. To preserve your favourites, remove the seed head after flowering and let the foliage die back before lifting the bulbs. Store in net bags in a cool, dry place until you plant them out in the following autumn.

  • Garlic spray for Lily Beetle and Slugs

    LILIUM_5Aren’t these little creatures lovely, the slugs and snails hold parties in my garden every night I’m tempted to put little signs up “no gate crashers allowed” they wreak havoc.

    How to stop them! I think this has been the conundrum of gardeners for many years, Provado is a good guard against Lily beetle but if you don’t like to use chemical sprays I have heard you can use a garlic spray and found the following recipe.

    Boil two pints of water, crush two large garlic bulbs "I would use cling film or a plastic bag to keep it all in place", crush using a rolling pin, add the contents to the boiling water to blanch for around 3 minutes, take off the heat and leave to cool, I would leave outside to cool garlic does have a strong odour. When cold strain the liquid into a jar to remove the debris through muslin or old tights, you could make more than you need and freeze some to prevent it going off.

    This is your concentrated spray add one tablespoon to around a gallon of water you could add a little washing up liquid to help it stick to the leaves, spray all over the leaves and stems not forgetting the underneath every couple of weeks, you may find it better to spry late afternoon or evening after the sun has gone. The slugs will not like the taste and should leave your plants alone, especially Hostas with there big juicy leaves.

    It's also a good guard against aphids I think it may be a good idea to test it on your plants first; if there is no sign of harm then continue to use, otherwise dilute a little more and try again. I think a little care should be taken as it could deter the predators of the pests you are trying to eradicate. Still kill any lily beetle you find and continue to remove the grubs until you can see the signs that the spray is working. You can buy a commercial garlic spray at garden centres, homemade is much cheaper.

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