Horticulturist shares tips for planting bulbs in containers
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Summer-flowering bulbs are a low maintenance option for the garden, with most perennial varieties able to bloom year after year. They are an easy way to add a splash of colour to your outdoor space, regardless of size. They are loved by professional gardeners and beginners alike, thanks to their fuss-free planting, says Marcus Eyles, horticultural director of Dobbies Garden Centres.
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When planting summer bulbs, Marcus advises gardeners to choose bulbs that “compliment each other”.
He said: “One of the best ways to achieve maximum impact with your summer blooms is to choose bulbs that complement each other in colour and tone.
“There are so many kinds of summer bulbs, but dahlias are one of the most popular and come in a variety of brilliant colours that will inject some vibrancy into your garden in the summer months.
“With shades ranging from pink and purple to scarlet red, orange and yellow, these warm blooms can be mixed and matched to create an eye-catching display, whether that’s in a flowerbed or a container.”
What’s more, dahlias bloom right through until autumn, meaning gardeners will have fantastic colour in their garden for months.
For those who do not have the luxury of a garden, they can plant summer bulbs in containers.
The expert explained how they even “thrive” when planted in containers.
Marcus said: “People often think you need to plant bulbs in the ground, when in fact, lots of summer bulbs on the market thrive in a container.
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“Begonia bulbs, for example, grow better in warmer soil, making them ideal for those looking to add some colour to a doorstep or balcony.”
They also look fabulous in pots; plant two or three different types in layers to create an ever-changing display or pack with the same variety for a simple yet spectacular statement.
To ensure container bulbs thrive this summer, the gardening pro suggests checking the planting depth of your chosen bulbs before planting.
He said: “Fill your pot to this depth with peat-free multipurpose compost.
“Once you’ve done this, place your bulbs in the soil, pointed end facing upwards.
“Make sure to space them out evenly so they don’t touch.
“Then water your bulbs well and move the container to your preferred spot in your outdoor space, before filling it up to the top with compost.”
Whatever bulbs gardeners choose to plant right now, Marcus suggests two steps to always carry out.
He said: “If you’re using very wet or heavy soil, after you dig a hole for your bulb to be planted, put a layer of grit at the bottom.
“This will prevent the bulbs from rotting if we have a particularly rainy spring.
“Once you have planted your bulbs, add a plant label to the area, to remind you to dig them up after summer, once they have finished flowering.
“Most summer bulbs aren’t hardy enough to leave in the garden year-round and should be stored away during the winter months, ready for planting again next spring.”
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