Everything you need to know about planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Autumn is a perfect time to plan your Spring garden. While it can be sad to see the Autumn flowers turn to seed, planting Spring bulbs is one of my favourite Autumn garden jobs. In this post, I will share how I put together my Spring bulb “lasagne” container. I will also share my favourite Spring bulbs that flower from January right through until late May.

Not only do Spring flowers brighten up dark days, but they also provide food for pollinators at a time of year when there is not much for them. 

Spring flowering bulbs.

My favourite Spring bulbs, which bulbs flower in Spring?

I love finding new bulbs to plant each year. There are so many to choose from, but if you haven’t planted any bulbs before, try picking a colour scheme you like. 

As the early Spring days can be grey here in Ireland, I love to pick colourful tulips, Crocus and Daffodils to add a pop of colour to the garden. This Autumn, I planted two raised beds, and I went for a white, pink and purple theme.

Here is a list of my favourite Spring bulbs, and there are many different varieties for each one. For example, you can get double-headed tulips that look like peonies or tulips with frilly petals. 

  • Snowdrops
  • Crocus
  • Anenome
  • Camassia
  • Ranunculus
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodils
  • Tulip
  • Alliums 
  • Iris
  • Muscari

The great thing is, most of your Spring bulbs will come back each year and are hardy. Tulips flower well in their first 1-2 years, but some varieties may not perform as well as they get older and may need to be replaced. This year, I saw Monty Don on Gardener’s World added his old tulips to a meadow, and this is a great way to recycle old bulbs if you have the space. 

Keukenhof tiplip fields
Keukenhof tiplip fields
Keukenhof tiplip fields

What month should I plant spring bulbs in my garden?

September, October and November are perfect months to plant your Spring bulbs. I have noticed that our Autumns have been warmer, so you may even be able to plant into early December, but the trick is to get them in before the risk of frost so that they can start producing roots.

Most Spring bulbs need the cold to grow, especially tulips, so best to plant them before December for flowering the following Spring.

Spring flowering bulbs.

How do I plant a bulb, and what if I put them in upside down?

When planting spring bulbs, try to remember, pointy side up and if in doubt, lay the bulb on its side.

Some bulbs, like Alliums, might not have an obvious point, and you can lay these on their side. 

Im sure over the years, I have planted plenty of upside-down bulbs, but mother nature knows, and they always seem to find their way. 

How to plant a bulb, pointy side up.
How to plant Spring bulbs.

How to plant a layered Spring bulb container?

Here is a video sharing how I made a layered spring bulb container. Layering Spring bulbs in containers is a great way to have a continuously flowering display. In one container, you can plant bulbs that will start to flower from late January until May. 

In my layered Spring containers, I planted in order.

  • Tulips ( pink, purple and white) 
  • Camassia
  • Hyacinths
  • Crocus

I started by planting the tulips the deepest, I positioned them deeply, but you will notice in the video that I planted the bulbs close together. I allowed roughly 1inch between the bulbs, but I followed the depth that was on the packet. 

Once I put the tulips in, I added a layer of soil before adding the next layer of bulbs. 

On the back of your bulb packet, you will find a guide for how deep each bulb should be planted. Use this to help you decide which bulb to plant in the layered container first. 

Some bulbs like Crocus and snowdrops are perfect for the top layer, as they do not need planting as deep.

While it is okay to pack bulbs tighter in a container, when putting bulbs in a border or flower bed, space them out more to allow them to spread. 

Spring bulb layered container.

Where can I get Spring flowering bulbs in Ireland?

Most garden centres and supermarkets begin to stock Spring flowering bulbs from September onwards. You can even find them in Lidl and Aldi. If you are looking for fancier varieties, then check out the likes of Johnstown garden centre, Newlands and The Orchard.

The bulbs I used in my YouTube video are from quickcrop.ie , and this is also where I also purchased my raised beds from. 

Spring flowering bulbs.

Want more Spring flower inspiration?

Check out this post from 2019, when I visited Amsterdam, to see the tulip fields and the Keukenhof flower festival. 

A random Tulip fact!

The Tulip was originally a wildflower growing in Central Asia. It was first cultivated by the Turkish people as early as 1000AD. In the 16th Century, they were brought to Holland from Turkey and quickly became popular.

Keukenhof tiplip fields

Click here to watch my YouTube video sharing where and how I planted my spring bulbs.

Whether you have a small garden, a balcony garden or fields at your disposal, I would love to know if you plan on growing Spring flowers in your garden or in a Spring bulb container. Please let me know in the comments section what you plan on planting. 

Thanks for reading, Chat soon, Catherine. 

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