At Culver's, we often get asked what our "Secret" is to our big beautiful, blooming annuals. Our secret is...fertilizer!
Most blooming annuals thrive and look their best when fertilized. At Culver's we use a low dose of fertilizer every time we water. If you aren't able to do this, you can fertilize once a week using the recommended amount on the back of the fertilizer package. Knowing exactly what type of fertilizer to use is the key to success. If you have ever seen the 3 numbers listed on a fertilizer package, they are in order of N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), and K (potassium). The amount of phosphorus in the fertilizer make-up is important for bloom production. It also helps with root production (which is important for a healthy plant). If your flowering plant is producing more leaves than blooms, try switching to a Bloom Boosting Fertilizer. We're always here to help, so stop in our give us a call with any questions.
Lasagna Bulb Gardening is an easy way to get easy spring color. This video from the Netherland Bulb Company does a great job showing the steps of planting a lasagna bulb garden.
All you need to make a beautiful Lasagna Bulb Garden is a planter with drainage, spring-flowering bulbs, potting mix, and a cool location for your bulbs.
Pick out your favorite spring-flowering bulbs. Bulbs are typically labeled as 'Early', 'Mid-Season', and 'Late'. This refers to their natural bloom times. If you can select bulbs that vary in their bloom times, you will be able to extend your spring season of color.
Pick your planter. Make sure the planter has a drainage hole. If you don't have drainage, the bulbs will have a higher chance of rotting before blooming. This is most important once the bulbs are growing outdoors and will likely have early spring rains wetting the soil. If you have heavy glazed planters, one easy way to lasagna garden is by finding a plastic pot that can sit inside of your planter. This will make switching from early spring color to summer color a cinch.
Grab your potting mix and start planting. It is best to follow the directions on the package for planting. If the tulip bulbs are supposed to be planted 5" deep, you can make a layer of potting mix up to 5" below the top of the container. Plant the bulbs with the pointed side up. One helpful hint is to always keep the tallest flowers in the middle and the shorter ones around the sides. This will prevent the flowers from being hidden. Even if you plant bulbs with different bloom times, the foliage can appear and cover your beautiful flowers if planted improperly.
Move your planters to a sheltered part of your yard or into an unheated garage. Placing the planter under a deck, near the house, or by the shed will work great. If the plants are open to the sky, mother nature can do the watering. If they are completely covered or in a garage, check for watering every few weeks. The planters should get dry between waterings. Typically when we plant up these containers and store them in an unheated, covered structure, we end up watering about once per month.
Enjoy the beauty of your planters in the spring. In March or April (this depends on the year), you can move your planters to their normal location (for viewing) and watch them grow and bloom the bright beautiful colors of spring!
One of our Lasagna Bulb Gardens that we seeded wheat grass on top once the temperatures were warm enough.