So you've decided to grow your own garden. Well, flower bulbs are a good place to start. The term "bulb" has commonly come to mean any plant that has an underground food storage capacity, so they basically nourish themselves. They're also able to survive cold winters, for the most part. But how do you create the best conditions for these self-sufficient plants? Here are some things for all you garden-lovers out there to consider.
One great thing about bulbs is their ability to survive the cold of winter, thus adding color to your garden year-round. So consider the cold hardiness, or the capacity of your bulbs, to survive the cold. Hardiness varies greatly with different species, so know about your bulbs. Also, how deep you plant them, along with the amount of moisture in the soil and the presence of mulch are all factors that will affect the bulbs' survival. So to keep them alive well into the next few seasons, do a little research on your bulbs.
You should also know about the microclimate of the area in which you want to grow your bulbs. This is the climate immediately around the bulbs that is affected by topography, ground surface and plant cover. Consider the difference between planting next to a heated basement versus in an isolated bed, or between planting in a flat, open area versus next to a line of evergreen trees that provide a shade for the bulbs. These choices can affect the flowering date, for one. Above all, bulbs need moisture, so having other plants nearby will help. Remember: plants shade the ground, change air movements, and create a more humid and stable microclimate.
Finally, consider the design that you want to be effected by your bulbs. Know about the flowering periods, the height of the plants, flower colors, sizes and textures, and companion plants that can not only add to the design, but also serve as a nice shade for the bulbs.
So with a little research and planning, you can create a long-lasting garden of your own that's appealing to the eye as well. Summer-flowering bulbs such as dahlias, begonias and anemones bring variety, texture, unique color and long flowering times to summer gardens. lanted with care, bulbs can keep a garden alive with color from the last snows of winter through the first frosts of fall.
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Written by Sabrina Sanchez