I am in need of a 'Fat Gardener' sized hot bath! Over the last couple of weeks I have planted more bulbs than I would care to count and am very, very sore!
Next year my garden will be boasting displays of snowdrops, native bluebells, about 6 different varieties of crocus, white and purple alliums, miniature narcissi and a number of pots and containers of tulips. To some of you this range may seem a little tame, but over the last couple of years I have tried to concentrate on rarer and less 'ordinary' bulbs and last year I was shocked by how diminished some of my 'old favourites' had become.
My life has been made much easier this Autumn by the use of a couple of great garden tools which I couldn't have survived without. The first is the Bulldog 'T' handle bulb planter, a solid forged cone design which removes a plug from the earth. You push down on the handle and tread until you are at the depth you require, pop in the bulb and replace the plug - what could be easier? The second garden tool is a Bulldog treaded tree planting spade which is also solid forged for strength, but has a very narrow blade and digs small holes for bulbs in all beds and borders.
These tools really save backs a lot of unnecessary pain and make the job a lot less arduous. In the past I have tried hand-held bulb planters which require a lot of work and an old fork handle sharpened to a point which is great for beds and borders, but is difficult to break through turf.
When planting bulbs remember to plant at the depth recommended by the nursery and to make sure the bulb is the right way up. Although most bulbs will give a good show without help, using some slow release fertilizer in the bottom of the planting hole can give you better blooms and ensure that the bulbs will bloom again next year too. If you are aiming for a 'drift' planting effect (particularly good with different coloured crocus bulbs) then remember to mix up your bulbs before planting - patches of one colour rarely look good in blocks.
A bit of hard work in the Autumn will reward you with a fantastic show in the Spring, so use Bulldog's labour-saving garden tools and you'll be finished before you know it!
Both the Bulldog Tools can be seen at: www.qualitygardentools.com/hand-tools/cultivation-tools/other-cultivation-tools/viewcategory
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