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Bulb planting tips and tricks

What are your tricks and tips for bulb planting? I need a new method...

I've just spent the afternoon starting the yearly bulb top up. Look at photo, try to figure out where the bulb gaps are. Get allium, get bulb planter, start a hole. Hit a rock. Get trowel, dig round rock, remove. Stand on plant I wanted to keep. Get bulb planter, continue hole. Lift out bulb planter, watch all the soil fall out the bottom and fill the hole again. Get trowel. Scoop out soil. Look for new allium bulb, eventually realize it's under the soil I just scooped out. Put allium in hole. Remove allium. Hole is too shallow. Dig. Hit a solid root. Move across a few inches, try again. Slice straight through old daffodil bulb. Remove ruined bulb, try to remember what daffodil it is so I can replace it. Plant allium. 

Repeat 59 times. Forget where I planted everything. Repeat process next day, usually digging up the bulbs I already planted because I forgot that there's already one in the perfect place I just spotted. Net gain, zero bulbs.

Every year i look forward to getting the new bulbs in, and forget that it's probably one of the most frustrating jobs. Especially with the larger bulbs and corms.

Any tips?

Posts

  • @strelitzia32
    Oh heck,Ive got a lot of Alliums to go in!😁
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,512
    How about getting some wooden lolly sticks and some felt tips. Pop in a lolly stick next to where you've planted a bulb and put a coloured smudge on each one (yellow for daffs etc)?


  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    Ohh how disappointing, I thought you were giving advise, I do the same as you @strelitzia32
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    I plant my new bulbs in pots each year (maybe 3 or 4 to a big-ish pot depending on how big the bulbs are), they stay outside all winter to start growing, then I plant them out in spring when I can see where the previous bulbs are growing, and there's not too much growth on the herbaceous stuff.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    JennyJ said:
    I plant my new bulbs in pots each year (maybe 3 or 4 to a big-ish pot depending on how big the bulbs are), they stay outside all winter to start growing, then I plant them out in spring when I can see where the previous bulbs are growing, and there's not too much growth on the herbaceous stuff.
    That's brilliant.  I should think a lot of us will be doing this. I certainly will.
  • @JennyJ that's a good idea. Wish I'd done that with my fritillaries, I like them but don't really have the conditions for them...
  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428
    I use pots a lot. I love camassias but can’t get them to grow. So I have ten in individual, deep pots. They live in a sheltered pot outside until they flower each Spring. Then I plunge the pots in a group in a flower bed. Lovely!
  • The pot idea is great, much like a bulb tray thing I guess. That'll work for the larger, more focal point bulbs, but it's not as practical for the bulk bulbs - the hundreds of daffodils, small alliums, crocus (yes, I know, corm  ;) ) etc. 

    Anyone have any clever planting tricks for those?
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    For small bulbs/corms you can take out a spadeful of soil, spread a handful of bulbs in the bottom then put the soil back. But at this time of year I don't have space to get a spade in so they go in pots (for crocuses maybe 6 or 7 in a pot) for planting out in Spring when I can see what I'm doing.
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