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Bulbs. Grit or no grit.

When planting bulbs, mostly daffs & tulips, I drop a small handful of grit in the hole and sit the bulb on it.
This is following years of advice in  magazines & newspapers because bulbs don't like sitting in wet soil.
Now two columns in a week, one by Alan Titchmarsh, have said the opposite.  'The bulb must be pressed hard into the bottom of the hole for good root contact.'   Both can't be right.  So do we grit or not ?   What do other gardeners do ?
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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,573
    I've never done either. I dig a hole ,drop it in making sure it is right way up then backfill. Never had any problems. If they are big enough bulbs they will flower. Soil will settle around them with the worms moving it, and rain on it.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,946
    Loads of grit mixed in pots can really help to stop the bulbs rotting - which is the main problem. There are some bulbs that really don't do well in heavy clay, sitting in cold, winter wetness. Allium and tulips, for example I never plant in the ground as they wouldn't come back. Others like snowdrops are fine with damp soil. If you have sandy, light soils then you would be better placed with most bulbs, like allium.

    Alan probably meant that you want the bulbs to sit in the hole, not hanging in midair in a small dibber hole, or piled on top of each other with no soil contact.

    Grit in a hole in the ground might help to stop rotting, but I can't say I'm that convinced. Dixter do it that way, though.
  • At the risk of contradicting AT- I always mix in grit with bulbs in containers. Upwards of  50/50 when planting tulips in pots, maybe about a third when planting daffs and crocus. In the ground - because I have clayey soil I don't grow tulips and only grow alliums in raised beds. Daffs I'll risk and they seem to do fine - same goes for snakes head fritillaries but they like damp soil anyway.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    I mix it in to the growing medium. It's a far better method if you have wet and/or heavy soil  conditions.
    They rot here very easily, even in pots. 
    Some bulbs will cope better than others though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Slightly panicking reading this... I just planted some Allium bulbs in a pot, in just compost. Will they rot??
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,855
    I've never used grit. 
    Devon.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I have never used grit in my containers and I have never had a bulb rot.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    In a pot they'll be fine. Alliums are generally quite easy.
    I don't know where you live, or what your climate is, but I certainly have to keep some pots against the house wall from now until spring, especially tulips, but I've lost daffodils to winter wet. It depends on your weather. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks all! I'm in London and the weather is still quite warm at the moment, seems to be around 20C for one more week at least. So I'm more worried about the bulbs rotting from heat (?)....
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,782
    They won't rot from heat.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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