Planting bulbs in autumn

In autumn, the course is already set for spring flowering. If you want to have a colourful flower bed in spring, you have to reach for your gardening gloves again in autumn — now it's time to plant flower bulbs. We tell you what you need to bear in mind to get the maximum yield from your flower bed.

Tulips, crocuses, daffodils, and snowdrops are the first harbingers of spring in the garden every year. Occasionally, their heads even poke out of thin layers of snow, announcing the beginning of the gardening season. Many spring-flowering plants need frost to get their biological clocks going. You don't need to be shy about getting the planting bulbs into the garden soil before the impending winter — on the contrary, these bulbs are hardy. On the contrary, these bulbs are winter-hardy, whereas flowers that bloom in summer should only be planted after winter. These include dahlias, gladioli, spring stars and buttercups.

When is the right time to plant bulbs?

But back to the spring flowering bulbs: Bury them in the ground from September to November, depending on the variety. As a rule of thumb, flower bulbs can be placed in the garden soil until the first frost. The annual bulb planting season starts with the snowdrops. The bulbs of the snowdrops can be planted in the garden soil as early as September.

Daffodils and the winter bulb follow in September and October. Both flower the following year from March onwards. Late in the gardening year — October and November — tulips, mullein, grape hyacinths, blue star, crocus, snow pride and hyacinths are finally planted. Between March and May, these bulb types develop into beautiful flowers with colourful blossoms.

Planting the bulbs is not particularly complicated. First, you need to look for a suitable location — it should be sunny and dry. Bulb flowers are improper around large trees. Perennial beds are ideal because the perennials only sprout when the bulbous plants have long since faded. Wow-effect is guaranteed by bulbs planted in the lawn to break up green areas.

What planting tools do I need for flower bulbs?

Once you have found the perfect location, you can get started. The tools you will need are a planting cone or a dibber — these two gardening tools allow you to quickly and easily turn planting holes in the soil and sink the bulbs into them.

If you want to be on the safe side and not compact the soil around the hole too much, we recommend using a planting trowel. Use this to dig a hollow and loosen the soil. The hole should be deep enough to cover the bulb with twice the bulb height of soil.

What planting tools do I need for flower bulbs?

If the bulb is five centimetres high, it may be covered with a good ten centimetres of garden soil. When cultivating the planting, it is not only the planting depth that needs to be considered, but also the spacing so that the flowers have room to take root and grow.

In heavy, loamy and moist soils, a drainage layer of sand — mixed with a little compost — is recommended. Next, insert the bulbs with the point facing upwards and cover with soil. To encourage root development, you should then water and fertilise them.

Crawling through the flower bed with a planting trowel and planting knife is very effective, but not easy on the back. Gardeners who want to do something good for their backs resort to a bulb planter. With a step bar and T-handle, planting holes for bulbs up to five centimetres in diameter can be dug while standing. This makes the bulb digger a garden tool with added value, especially when working on large beds.

Why should I buy high-quality bulbs?

There are a few things to consider when buying flower bulbs. First, you should know that high-quality flower bulbs are in high demand and are often pre-ordered in early summer. The early bird catches the worm.

Flower bulbs should be fresh when you buy them. You can tell because the bulb is firm and not yet sprouting. Flower bulbs come in different sizes. In general, the larger the bulb, the better the quality. Large bulbs usually produce larger and more magnificent flowers. This is why large bulbs are always more expensive — but also worth the money. Purchased bulbs should not be stored for long, but are best planted straight away.

What do I have to bear in mind when planting bulbs in pots and on the balcony?

You don't have a garden? Flower bulbs can also be planted in pots and on the balcony. So that the spring-flowering bulbs get their necessary portion of frost, planting is also done in autumn. To avoid waterlogging, the planting trough is lined with potsherds and then half-filled with sand and soil. Then tulips and the like will blossom just as easily on the balcony.

What do I have to bear in mind when planting bulbs in pots and on the balcony?

What can go wrong when planting bulbs?

  • Too wet: Bulbs do not like waterlogging and too much moisture. A drainage layer of sand and a warm location will help.
  • Too early: If flower bulbs are planted too early, their internal clock gets confused and the flowers sprout before winter.
  • Too close together: Flowers like to be planted in groups — nevertheless, keep a distance so that the plants can develop well.
  • Too cheap: High-quality varieties have their price. This is rewarded in spring with a long flowering and strong plant.
  • Too old: Flower bulbs are bought fresh and are best planted immediately. For short-term storage, it must be cold and dark.