I don’t want to get too sentimental about this, but it is time to put your bulbs to bed so they will be nice and fresh ready for next spring.
14th April: Things I have been doing today.
🌻 Preparing bulbs: It is always a good idea to plant up pots with bulbs so that they can provide early colour on your veranda or naya. The benefit of doing this is that it provides you with portable colour that you can move around to your various sitting areas. But when they are finished flowering they can look unsightly. When this happens they have to go. Now normally bulbs planted in the ground can be left to die back naturally (more of this later in the month). But, bulbs in pots need to be handled differently. First deadhead them as soon as they stop flowering, so they don’t waste energy. Then leave them as long as you can stand it with them looking all yellows and upset. I confess that I don’t leave it very long, (See photo). Then cut the foliage back level with the soil of your pot. Water them well and cover with about half an inch of sieved compost (no lumps). Then put the pots away in an out of the way shady area of your garden and leave them, (See photo). It is important to be polite to your plants if you want the best from them – so say goodnight and promise to see them next year; God willing.
🌻 Bring on the replacements: Normally I do have replacement plants lined up that I have grown from seed or cuttings, but in this case I wanted two geraniums, but unfortunately all of ours were destroyed last year by the dreaded geranium moth; it is almost not worth growing geraniums anymore in Spain because of the moth. Anyway, I confess to buying two plants (see photo). But I promise to make amends by ensuring that I take lots of cuttings from these two once they are established. I will keep you up to date with progress.
🌻 General feeding: This may sound like a large dinner party, but it is not what I intended. This time of year, when everything is really getting going, it is worth wandering around and generally spreading some general purpose granulated feed across all your beds. I use the pelleted blue stuff that you can get anywhere. Scatter this thinly, and definitely not in clumps near plant stems. These feeds are rich in nitrogen and can shock plants if they get too much. It is a bit like us having too many Easter eggs; we love them but it is not good for us.