Planting methods


A number of planting techniques can be used for flower bulbs.

- Laying out the bulbs
For a beautiful display in parks and planting beds, it is important to lay out the bulbs evenly over the location being planted. It would be advisable to start by laying out the bulbs at the proper distance apart. This prevents surprises when coming to the end of the planting bed!

Before the bulbs are laid out, the soil should be thoroughly loosened to a depth of 25 cm. (10 inches) Next, the bulbs can simply be planted, after which they will produce good roots.
- Planting can then be done with a trowel, one by one. A single person (planter) can plant 600 to 700 bulbs/hour depending on his/her experience and the kind of bulb.
- Another method uses raised planting beds. After laying out the flower bulbs, they are covered with a layer of soil 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) thick. This method is used more frequently when the planting is intended for a one-year display.

After planting, the planted areas should be evenly raked. To keep the soil from drying out, freezing or panning, it would be advisable to mulch the area with 2-3 cm (1 inch). of organic material (peat litter/compost).

- Scattering the bulbs
Bulbs can also be scattered into a border or naturalising zone to provide a more natural look. The bulbs are then planted wherever they land. Here again, planting is easier if the soil as been loosened before planting. The number of bulbs that can be planted per hour will be much lower because the existing planting will have to be considered.

- Bulbs in the grass
When bulbs are being planted over a small area in the grass, a piece of sod can simply be lifted for planting each group of bulbs. After making sure that each bulb has been placed upright in its planting hole, the sod can be replaced. Once the sod has been tamped down, the planting location will be invisible after a few days.

- Planting by machine
Because labour costs are the biggest expense involved in planting flower bulbs, a special machine can be used that will save 90% of these costs. This machine lifts the sod up and scatters the bulbs into a planting trench. The machine can plant around 10,000 narcissi (daffodils) and 25,000 crocuses or other small bulbs per hour. In this method, the flower bulbs are planted in rows; this makes it a perfect method for planting verges. This method does not lend itself for planting round patterns. It is a fast planting method that greatly reduces labour costs.

- Layered (lasagna) method
To ensure a longer flowering period when using flower bulbs, choose kinds with consecutive flowering periods and plant them at the same site. By planting them at different depths, they can be planted at practically the same spot. This method is most commonly used in spring-flowering beds that have to remain attractive throughout a single season.

In general, the flower bulbs that will bloom last are planted at the deepest level. The earliest to bloom in the spring will be planted closest to the surface. This technique is also referred to as the “lasagna technique” and can be applied to planting bulbs in the ground as well as in pots and containers.