|PeterWilliams's gold standard
Lugging large tubs backwards and forwards palls as a gardener gets older. We have plenty of fairly large hardware containers but they aren’t half heavy and to challenge Peter I need very large ones. These days I am prepared to go plastic They are so much lighter and nowadays so much improved and quite tasteful. I purchased two huge ones, perhaps forty litres and four more not much smaller. For the lilies I made do with my existing smaller hardware tubs.
I still had the problem that my soil/char compost is rather heavy.
Some gardeners bulk up their large pots and economise on compost with light polystyrene granules at the base. I hate this practice and of course my homemade compost is free.
At bulb planting time I have copious Autumn leaves. Why not pack them under the compost? I hope the pictures show that this was very successful and the bulb roots penetrated quickly and densely - a large water reserve unlike horrid polystyrene.
I can report the method worked superbly well. As expected there was slight shrinkage by Spring but not such you would notice.
I think that this method would also work for Summer bedding but continuing leaf shrinkage would be too severe for long term planting without further refreshing.
Follow my efforts in pictures
Follow my efforts in pictures
|Large plastic pot two thirds filled with fresh Autumn leaves
|After tulips were planted
|Root system on early September planted daffodils
On the same day I planted the tulips I plunged the knocked out pots of daffodils into their containers prepared the same as the tulips
|Change of plan - bulbs plunged again!
|The snowdrops were first in the display
|Daffodils and Corydalis flexuosa
|The early daffodils did really well
|Now in the display area the tulips sprouted in early February
I write now at the end of my Spring bulb season and my bulbs have surpassed our wildest expectations. Brenda shuffles the bulbs around to make lovely large displays outside our (live in) conservatory windows and they have given us much joy from mid January to mid mid April.
In particular the tulips have been a revelation. Their colours are so bright and strong and massed together are firm and free standing despite persistent windy conditions and some stood high on a table.
I tend to think of tulips as rapidly going over on warm Spring or early Summer days. Not these (yet). Each of my six varieties have elegantly merged their continuity to give us six weeks of continuous flowers and as I look out today on Easter Sunday all massed together still make a fine display. No single variety has give us less than a month’s strong flower.
It has been unusually windy and dehydrating and through the last month they have needed generous watering every three to five days. Many new gardeners overlook this - it applies to tub planting but not in the ground.
As to sinkage of the underlying Autumn leaves, after a small initial drop it has been barely discernible and a slightly deeper rim completely disguised by strong leaves gives room to water.
Enjoy the tulips
|The one at the top was first to flower
|With Pete's help our owl has now flown to the top of the wall
|I must try harder