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Guide to Buying and Growing Garden Bulbs

At we have put this simple buying guide together to ensure that you select the correct bulbs for your spring or summer display. Bulbs come in many colours, sizes, shapes and flower at different times of the year. To help you we cover bulb availability, what to look for and how to ensure that you are buying a quality bulb at the right price.

Bulb Availability

Garden bulbs tend to be available during two distinct periods of the year.

Autumn Planting Bulbs are usually available fom late August onwards ready for planting in the Autumn, up until the ground becomes hard, and flower from Spring onwards.

These autumn planting bulbs include Tulips, Daffodils, Snowdrops, Crocus, Alliums and many more. The majority of these bulbs can be planted and then left in the ground for future years. However there are a few that will benefit from being lifted such as certain alliums.

Spring Planting Bulbs and Tubers available from early spring are for planting spring onwards ready for summer displays. These mainly include Gladioli, Begonias. Dahlias, and Lilies. Generally these will need lifting in Autumn as they are not winter hardy.

Buying Bulbs

When looking at bulbs you should find that there are 2 or 3 sizes or measurements on the description. These are the following:-

Planting Depth (PD): Although this probably isn't an important part of the buying decision it will allow you to plant the bulbs at the correct depth in the ground.

Full Height (FH): If you are planning a display then the height of the plant may be important to you. You may want to mix Tulips of different heights to add variation, or you may simply want to place smaller plants at the front of a display and taller more prominent bulbs at the rear.

Bulb Sizes (BS): The bulb size defines the quality of the bulb. You will find that you can buy certain bulbs in bulk or value packs and also in smaller pre packs. Yet the price may vary. This will be down to the grade of the bulb. Smaller bulbs will not produce a plant that is as strong as a larger bulb of the same type. So, it is worth being wary of value packs or offers where the bulb size is not specified.

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