Vital time to plan for spring bulbs

Autumn crocus… not a real crocus, a member of the Liliaceae household, it has utterly totally different flower elements to crocus blooms. Photograph: Jackie Warburton

With the change of season, spring-bulb planting is essential within the subsequent month or in order the soils start to chill, says gardening columnist JACKIE WARBURTON. 

Jackie Warburton.

NOW’S the time to show over the soil the place bulbs are meant to develop. In case you hit clay within the backyard mattress, attempt elevating it to extend drainage for the roots and make sure the bulbs should not sitting and rotting in water. 

Bulbs to develop by means of winter embody daffodils, jonquils, tulips and hyacinths. 

Although not true bulbs, different standard spring flowers to attempt, if house is at a premium, are anemones and ranunculus. They’re each thought-about a corm and ship bang on your buck with flower dimension and color. They’re implausible for pots, courtyards and rooftop gardens. 

Corms are a bit totally different from bulbs and when the seasons change, they’ll placed on a pleasant show. Confusingly, the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) shouldn’t be a real crocus. A member of the Liliaceae household, it has utterly totally different flower elements to crocus blooms. 

If you wish to ditch the daffodils, then a neighborhood, native lily that grows properly in our area is Bulbine Lily or Golden Lily (Bulbine bulbosa) with the added bonus of perfume and butter-yellow flowers on a surprising flower spike. It multiplies fairly shortly and is appropriate for rockery gardens as properly. 

BULBS that flowered poorly final spring or are in an excessive amount of shade will be lifted and divided now. 

Dig the clump of bulbs with a fork gently out of the bottom and tease with arms to tug aside. In the event that they’re resisting, a blast with the backyard hose will assist separate them. 

See also  Meet the native specialists who love what they do

Replant them in a sunny spot with a bit compost within the gap and water in. As a normal rule, bulbs ought to be planted double their depth. Most spring bulbs might be dormant so no must fertilise as vitamins gained’t be taken up now. Solely fertilise bulbs once they’re rising. 

Rue… a tricky, small plant that may be grown as a hedge to about 60 centimetres tall. Photograph: Jackie Warburton

RUE (Ruta graveolens) is a tricky, small plant that may be grown as a hedge to about 60 centimetres tall. It’s not bothered by the frosts and will be pruned in late winter or early spring. It likes full solar and a dry location. As soon as established they want little to no water. They like nutrients-poor, lime-rich soil and a pH of six or extra will hold them comfortable. 

Their fern-like leaves are blueish to inexperienced and the foliage contrasts properly within the backyard. Though thought-about an old school plant as soon as grown for medicinal causes, its robust scent acts as a pure insecticide within the backyard and makes an ideal repellent for cats, rats and bugs (equivalent to mosquitoes). It may be planted near roses or fruiting vegetation equivalent to raspberries to maintain the bugs away, with the added bonus of the flowers being useful vegetation for pollinators.

Sprigs will be introduced indoors and used as an insect repellent for ants and flies.


  • Feed greens with seaweed answer or liquid fertiliser to maintain them rising quick and hold the water to fruiting crops.
  • Have all stone fruit pruned earlier than chilly climate comes subsequent month and when many of the leaves have fallen, spray with copper.
  • Plant evergreen shrubs now and put together soils for winter deciduous tree planting.
  • Put together soil for planting candy peas on St Patrick’s Day (March 17). 
  • The 2023 Autumn Flower Present, Fitzroy Pavilion, EPIC, from 10am, March 4-5.
  • ANBG Autumn Native Plant Sale, Banksia Centre automobile park, 8.30am-11am, March 4.

[email protected]