Autumn in Melbourne:Planting bulbs
In Australia the best time to plant bulbs is between April and May. The weather and soil has cooled down and it is the best time to plant, if you want to achieve flowering bulbs in spring.
Once you master the basics you will be able to grow almost any bulbs.
For most bulbs they need to be planted twice as deep as the bulb is high, and that goes for the distance apart from the other bulbs. You plant the pointed end of the bulb upwards, there are a couple of bulbs where this is the not the case, however your local nursery can assist you if you are unsure.
Bulbs need a very well-draining soil for best results. If you garden bed is not freely draining, you can plant bulbs in beautiful pots, however you will need to water regularly to keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy! When planting in pots keep the bulbs away from the outer edges of the pot as this area tends to get very hot.
Bulbs grow well in full sun to partial shaded areas. While the spring bulbs are growing ensure that the soil is kept moist, it is best to start watering when you see green shoots appear and then stop watering when the foliage starts to go yellow after it has flowered. If the bulbs are over watered or receives to much rain over the summer, it is best to dig them up and store them in a dry spot so that they are not damaged and re-plant the following season.
If you decide to plant your bulbs in pots, sometimes it is a good idea to take the bulb out of the pot after flower and plant the bulb in the garden the following year. Generally your plant won’t flower consecutive years when in pots.
You can purchase a fertiliser specially formulated for bulbs and the best time to apply this is in autumn. Autumn is also a good time to top dress your bulbs along with a good water. After the first flowering it is always recommended to apply this top dress as this is when the bulbs are taking the nutrients it needs for the next year’s flowers. Although there may not be any more flowers on display until next year, maintain your watering and feeding of the leaves as your bulb is generating the energy to produce that wonderful display of flowers next season.
Once you get the hang of it and understand how to care for your bulbs , it is well worth it and you can have wonderful display of flowers in pots or your garden beds.