Flower Bulbs - Summer Flowering

Summer bulbs are supplied from early spring to late May, when they are dormant. Summer bulbs, such as alliums, agapanthus and cannas, should be planted in spring, when the soil is beginning to warm up. Different bulbs need different soil types but summer bulbs generally like a warm, sunny position. Free-draining soil is important as bulbs are susceptible to rotting. If you have heavy, clay soil dig in one to two buckets of coarse sand per square metre. Adding well-rotted organic matter will also improve drainage. Dig individual holes for each bulb or a trench for many bulbs. Place bulbs in the holes without pushing down hard. Make sure the growing point is pointing upwards. Cover with soil and firm. Pot-grown bulbs may be planted directly in their desired position in a border where you want them to flower. Many summer bulbs are ideal for growing in patio containers, especially tender species. These can then be lifted in winter and stored. Use the bulb as a guide and plant it two or three times its depth. Space them approximately two to three bulb widths apart. Some summer bulbs are not hardy so need to be lifted before the first frosts. Bulbs generally prefer to be stored dry. Remove loose soil, carefully pull or cut off dead and dying leaves and leave to dry overnight. Store the bulbs in dry paper bags or trays of almost dry sand in a frost-free place. A few bulbs need moist conditions and can be kept in slightly damp bark chippings.