by Connie Oswald Stofko
Here’s a way to enjoy waves of spring color in a single spot in a garden bed– or even in a container.
This information came to me from Joanie Long, chair of the horticulture committee with the East Aurora Garden Club, who gave a presentation to her club on the topic last year.
She calls this method of planting bulbs layering or lasagna gardening. Instead of planting crocuses here and tulips over there, all of the bulbs are planted the same area, but in layers.
In the spring they’ll come up in sequence and grow around and through each other easily, blooming at different times.
If you’re working in a garden bed, dig a hole slightly deeper than the recommended depth for the bulb. If you’re using a pot, put some gravel in the bottom.
Place some compost or potting soil in first, then place the bulbs on top, about 2 inches apart. Cover with potting soil or garden soil.
Layer in the next bulbs that require a shallower depth, and cover them with more soil. Try not to place a bulb directly over a bulb beneath it.
Top with shallow-planted bulbs and cover them with 2 inches of soil.
In your deepest layer, about 6 to 8 inches deep, plant daffodils, narcissus or allium.
Your next layer could include tulips, hyacinths or galanthus (snowdrops).
Your top layer could include crocuses, iris reticulata and other small bulbs.
You can use fertilizer, Long said, but avoid fertilizer that contains bone meal. Cats, raccoons and other diggers like bone meal and may disturb your bulbs.
Here are more tips on spring bulbs:
- Get tips on creating a lavish spring display with bulbs from a Cheektowaga gardener who has done just that.
- Get more tips on spring-flowering bulbs from David Clark, internationally known horticulturist.
- If you have tulips in a garden bed, you want to plant something around them to fill in the space after the tulips have died back. Read the suggestions from our readers in the comments here.
- If you want to force bulbs indoors in January or February, refrigerate them now. See all the steps you need to take prepare bulbs to force indoors here.