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Time for summer flowering bulbs to be picked and planted for a luscious summer display. I’ve incorporated ‘non true bulbs’ in this criteria ie things like rhizomes, corms and tubers which aren’t onion like but have asymmetrical shapes. Picking nice firm specimens with no mushy brown spots anywhere will ensure that your bulbs get a good start in life. You can start tender bulbs (particularly the tropical bulbs like cannas) indoors and then transplant them later – this is especially important for those who can’t pick when the last frost of the season is going to hit. These bulbs resent being exposed to the cold and sudden cold exposure can result in them sulking and not blooming at all or worst still succumbing to some disease and giving up the ghost. Remember that soil temperatures take a lot longer to warm up compared to ambient air temperature so take that into account when deciding when to plunge your bulbs into the great outdoors from their cosy shelter indoors. Take the time also to work your soil by adding organic matter like well rotted compost and manure into the soil to give your precious bulbs nutrients to draw on when you plant them out.

Before planting, add lots of well-decomposed organic matter to your soil-compost, leaves, horse manure, or anything else that will enrich the soil and provide unrefined nutrients. It’s best to do this before planting: Till a 2- to 6-inch layer of organic matter into the soil; in subsequent years, top-dress hardy bulbs with a 1- to 2-inch layer while the bulbs are dormant. So you would plant out the hardier bulbs like lilies earlier than you would frost tender cannas and dahlias.

When it comes to planting bulbs, most suggest that planting them at a depth of 3 times the height of the bulb is the rule of thumb to go by. Remember to plant them top up – there’s no surer way of ensuring a no show bulb by planting it upside down. Sometimes it can be difficult determining which side is up, in those instances I tend to plant them on their side (more a problem with weird shaped rhizomes). Don’t plant them too close to each other. Just as you plant them 3 times their height deep, plant them 3 times their width apart. I like to mulch around my bulbs with some pine needles or chopped lucerne. Drip irrigation is best with bulbs, overhead sprays encourages mildew and fungal diseases. When the flowers start to appear, I then fertilize with a slow release bulb fertilizer – I avoid liquid fertilizers as I would’ve already nourished the soil earlier with compost and manure. Deadheading spent blooms will ensure that the bulk of the energy is spent building up reserves for the next season. The scourge of every bulb planter is the sight of drooping foliage and blooms that have passed their show date, so if you find this aesthetically unseemly, then plant bulbs amongst other plants and shrubs. Unfortunately this is the most important time for bulbs as it’s the time when they are storing up reserves for next season so don’t lop off the foliage till they are brown and floppy.

Dahlia – Delight Mix

The Dahlia Delight Mix, ‘Dahlia variabilis’, is a fabulous dwarf Dahlia with long lasting blooms that will provide a continuous supply of cut flowers for your summer bouquets. The large, vibrantly colored 3 inch flowers are in shades of red, yellow, orange, rose-pink, and white. The Delight Mix bloom continually from summer through fall.>Delight Mix Dahlia prefer full sun and in very hot summer climates, they prefer some afternoon shade. Place then in rich, well drained soils. Keep them well watered but not soggy. Remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Plant in the spring after the last frost. This Dahlia is easy to grow and makes an excellent cut flower, border, or container plant.

Dahlia – Mignon Silver

The Dahlia Mignon Silver, ‘Dahlia variabilis’, has elegant, pure white flowers that are most enjoyed during the evening as the the twilight dulls other garden colors. For white flower lovers, this beautiful flower is a must for your beds, borders, or large containers. The large 3 inch pure white flowers bloom continually from summer through fall.Mignon Silvers prefer full sun and in very hot summer climates, and they prefer some afternoon shade. Place then in rich, well drained soils. Keep them well watered but not soggy. Remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Plant in the spring after the last frost. This Dahlia is easy to grow and makes an excellent cut flower

Dahlia – Decorative – Arabian Night

The Decorative Dahlia Arabian Night, ‘Dahlia’, a spring planted tuberous root, produces velvety dark crimson flowers. This Dahlia produces masses of large blooms from July until frost. Dahlia’s are ideal for cut flowers, borders, containers, and massings. They tend to bloom for long periods and few plants offer as much variety and showy flowers as the Dahlia. They do best in well drained, humus rich soils.

Dahlia – Art Deco

The Gallery Dahlia Art Deco, ‘Dahlia’, a spring planted tuberous root, produces masses of rich orange-colored double flowers with white tips that are up to 5 inches across. The Gallery Dahlia start blooming in early summer and produce large amounts of flowers on a well branched plant. Dahlia’s are ideal for cut flowers, borders, containers, and window boxes.. They tend to bloom for long periods, and few plants offer as much variety and showy flowers as the Dahlia. They do best in well drained, humus rich soils.

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