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Month by Month Bulb Tasks

Here is a guide to the Month by Month Bulb Tasks to get the best out of spring bulbs.

Spring Bulbs are a fantastic addition to any garden, whether is a traditional, patio, rooftop or balcony garden.  Check out this guide to Growing Spring Bulbs in Pots,  plus we have many other guides on spring bulbs here.  Take a look at our complete Growing Guide for instructions pertaining to the spring bulbs you have.

JANUARY Bulbs that have been lifted should be stored in a cool dry spot. Ensure pests like rats, mice and possums cannot access these bulbs as they are considered a tasty morsel for these animals.
FEBRUARY / MARCH Prepare garden beds for planting, dig in plenty of compost and remove weeds. Mulch beds to reduce weed growth. Garden Express pre-orders should be arriving at this time. On arrival, unpack bulbs and store with bags open in a cool, dry, airy position.
APRIL Tulip bulbs can be put in the crisper of the refrigerator for six weeks to build up their strength. (Ensure they are not refrigerated for any longer than 6-8 weeks.)

Start planting bulbs, e.g. daffodils and jonquils once the soil has cooled down. Plant bulbs like freesias, lachenalia, muscari, narcissus, hyacinth and Dutch iris.

MAY Plant tulips that were in the crisper of the refrigerator. Plant anemones and ranunculi (plant their claws downwards).
JUNE Keep garden beds weed free. Some plants may be emerging now. Be patient if there are no signs of any growth, there may be lots happening under the ground.All spring flowering bulbs should be in the ground by now – this is your last chance to ensure a display for spring.

Please note: most bulbs do NOT store very well so they must be in the ground so they can complete their life cycle.

JULY Early flowering daffodils are looking good. Keep checking for slugs and snails that can damage flower buds and leaves.Anemone and ranunculus may be starting their show. Ensure this goes on through spring by fertilizing fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser.
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER Bulbs in flower, especially with September giving the most wonderful display. As flowers finish, dead head immediately the old flowers fade and feed with a complete fertiliser. It is important to leave the foliage (by now, yellowing and withering) on long enough after flowers finish, to make enough energy for next year’s flowers.Have a critical look at your spring display and make a mental note on what worked and what didn’t. This is the opportunity to start planning next year’s spring garden so make sure you look at other people’s gardens for ideas and what bulbs enjoy your climate.

Garden Express send out their pre-order catalogue this month – there are great discounts to be had by ordering and paying early.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER Approximately six-eight weeks after flowering ends pull or cut off the leaves which by now have put enough nutrient back into the bulb.Spring flowering bulbs will be drying off, and can be lifted cleaned and stored in a cool, dry spot.

Bulbs in pots should be moved into the garden bed, or lifted and stored.