What to plant NOW: When and how to plant summer flowering bulbs

Gardeners' World: Monty Don shares tips for planting seeds

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After seeing snow, rain, and lots of dark mornings, the weather seems to be warming up and the days are getting slightly longer. Summer is on its way and it’s time to start planting some summer flowering bulbs to ensure your garden is full of bright and fragrant flowers when the season arrives. Express.co.uk chatted to gardening expert Antony Henn, creator of Garden on a Roll, to find out what flowers to plant now for summer.

If we have seen the last of the cold weather and temperatures continue to improve you can start planting summer flowering bulbs.

Bulbs are one of the easiest ways to add colour to the garden, once you’ve planted them they will come back every year.

On top of that, they’re extremely low maintenance and can be planted and left to do their thing.

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What to plant NOW

There are so many different plant varieties that can be planted now in time for summer, but Antony has recommended six of his favourite.

Alliums are an excellent choice, Antony said. He explained: “Their long stalks and large round lollipop heads will add instant style to your garden.

“They flower before the main perennials get going so are a welcome site in April or May.

“You can buy them ready to plant from your garden centre or online or you can wait a little longer and buy pre-grown bulbs that are already budding.

“Due to the size of alliums, they are best planted directly in beds and borders or larger containers.”

Other varieties of plants for summer colour that can be planted now include:

  • Ranunculus
  • Dwarf iris
  • Montbretia
  • Lilies
  • Dahlias

If you choose to plant dahlias, start the tubers off in a greenhouse, conservatory or warm window and plant them outside in April or May.

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How to plant summer flowering bulbs

Planting is fairly simple and the instructions will be on the bulb packaging, but Antony has revealed his top bulb planting tips to ensure you get it right.

First things first, always plant your bulbs in well-drained soil and add some good quality compost and sharp sand for drainage in heavy soil.

The bulbs should be planted with the tip or pointed end facing upwards, Antony said.

He added: “Plant the bulbs at roughly three times the depth of the bulb and at least a bulb’s width apart.”

All you need to do is water and wait for the colour explosion when summertime comes, it’s that simple.

There are a few products you could add to ensure your flowers grow to the best of their ability and Antony has recommended two of them.

Get your hands on the Empathy’s Bulb Starter, which is £6.99 from Amazon and treats 50 bulbs.

Antony said: “Just sprinkle the Bulb Starter into the soil before placing the bulb on top. One treatment lasts a lifetime.”

If you are a total beginner who needs more support in this task, Antony has created a kit that will guide you through the process

He said: “Garden on a Roll is gardening simplified and the kits contain everything needed to create a professional garden border quickly and easily.”

The kit includes the plants and a planting template which can be laid directly on the soil to get the perfect layout.

It’s a bit like painting by numbers as you need to match the numbered plants up to the numbers on the template.

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