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Spring Bulbs - Lasagne Planting

Last year, for the first time, I planted up large planters of spring bulbs which gave me a fantastic early spring display.  All the flowers are now finished and the foliage is starting to die back.  I am not sure whether I now need to dig up the various 'layers' of bulbs or whether I can just leave them in the pots for next year. Do I cut back dead foliage or just leave it? If it is OK for the bulbs to remain in the pots, could I plant any annuals over them so that there is interest and colour for the summer, as the planters are quite prominent on the patio?  Thank you. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,122
    It really depends on the bulbs.  :)
    Whatever they are, they will need feeding while dying back. Don't cut the foliage back - it helps to feed the bulbs too.
    I don't think it's wise to put annuals in there. Very few things would be successful, and you'd also need to be watering them regularly which may not suit the bulbs.
    Possibly pelargoniums would be ok, but anything that goes in there is also taking nutrition from the bulbs, and unless you're just sowing seeds, you risk disturbing any smaller bulbs which are nearer the surface. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • FlorafanFlorafan Posts: 15
    Thank you. They were various narcissi, tulips, and muscari. They were topped with violas for the winter (which are actually still flowering between the dying leaves believe it or not?). When you say I should feed whilst its dying back, what do I use for this please?  I've never potted bulbs before always just leave them in the earth!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,122
    Any type of slow release food is fine - like Blood, Fish and Bone, or  a granular food, or even just something like tomato food. 
    It just gives them a helping hand, and you'll probably find it'll keep the violas going too :)

    The tulips may not come back next year, as they can be finicky, but the others should be fine.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Paris FrancePosts: 834
    Plants that don’t have deep roots could be used, some summer bedding or pelagoniums as fairy girl said, I have bulbs in pots which I over plant with lobelia and mini bedding begonias but they do need a bit of a “top up” of new compost around the bulb leaves and some feeding over summer.
  • FlorafanFlorafan Posts: 15
    Thank you. 

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