With their flowers, flower bulbs make even the smallest city garden or balcony shine after winter. That's why I've been experimenting with early bloomers, tulips, etc. in my potted and urban gardens for years. And I've probably made every mistake you could possibly make. Mistake? Yes, they exist. But you don't have to do them. That's exactly why I'm sharing my knowledge about onion cutting with you today.
Since early bloomers and flower bulbs are a dime a dozen and tastes vary widely, my first tip is: start with a variety that you particularly like. For me it was the checkerboard flower - Fritillaria Meleagris.
I fell in love with her crazy look at first sight. And somehow she meant well for me. Because she forgave what was probably my biggest beginner's mistake when planting onions. I watered the bulbs again and again over the winter... But since the checkerboard flower prefers moist soil, it didn't rot, but enchanted me with the most beautiful flowers. That motivated me to be at my best and so a year later I made a so-called onion lasagne. Here there are several layers of onions sitting on top of each other in the pot. First the largest bulbs - mostly tulips - then smaller and smaller bulbs such as daffodils and grape hyacinths. They are separated by layers of soil and should make my large pot bloom nicely one at a time. Of course, I watered it nicely here too... which brought me pots full of rotten onions after the winter and left me at a loss.
So what should you pay attention to when planting flower bulbs? I'll just try to summarize it for you here. However, please be sure to look at the explanatory text on the onion packages and read the information about the location.
Timing: It's best to plant onions in soil that has already cooled down in autumn. I usually plant from October, but have also planted onions in December. It is important that the ground has not frozen for several days.
How to put the onion in the ground: It's very simple. Flower bulbs should be planted about twice as deep as they are tall. Make sure the tip of the onion is facing up and you're done. If you're not in a pot, simply throw the onions loosely onto the bed in which they will grow. Then plant them where they landed. This gives the arrangement a natural touch. Even if not every onion likes it equally moist or dry, note that they all cannot tolerate waterlogging. So make sure that you ensure good water drainage in the pot or add a drainage layer made of expanded clay or sand. On the ground, most bulbs prefer well-drained, not too heavy soil.
Many flower bulbs are heavy feeders: This means that they need a lot of food in order to grow well and bloom persistently. These include, for example, tulips and daffodils, hyacinths, imperial crowns and ornamental onions. In order to lay a good foundation here, I fertilize the soil with long-term organic fertilizer made from sheep's wool when I put it in the pot and add a few tips of nettle leaves to the soil. These decompose over the winter and enrich the soil with nitrogen.
Where do flower bulbs fit particularly well? I love combining flower bulbs with perennials but also with winter vegetables. That's why grape hyacinths grow next to kale or chard in my potted garden. I like to plant (horn) violets in a bowl filled with onions. Crocuses grow in the raised bed among bronze fennel, wild rose, strawberries and garlic. On the ground, I particularly like early bloomers under fruit trees or scattered wildly in perennials/grass beds. Because perennials and grasses in particular aren't far along this early in the year, let alone blooming...
I also think an important tip for planting planning is not to stick flower bulbs at the edge of a bed. Because the foliage of the onions must dry out completely after flowering. This is how the onion recharges its batteries for the next season. This looks anything but nice in exposed areas. By the way, I solve this issue in the pot, just like in the bed, with a good combination of plants. That's also why I've become more and more comfortable with larger pots/boxes/zinc containers and more soil or space for the plants.
And: When it comes to onions, a lot helps a lot. So it's best to put large quantities. They also like to be closer together in the pot.
The thing about watering: Remember? Please pay attention to the information on the plant bags. Moisture doesn't bother a checkerboard flower as much as tulip bulbs. That's why I've now decided not to water onions at all in winter. Only when the sun allows the first green tips to sprout from the earth - be careful and always keep an eye on good water drainage.
A word about tulip bulbs: I like tulips. Also the stuffed varieties. However, I had to learn the hard way that not all tulips are perennial, meaning they bloom in the bed for several years. This means that I have to buy my favorite varieties every year. I now only go with a few favorite varieties. Especially since I discovered the beauty of wild tulips last year, especially for pot gardens.
Sure, wild tulips are nowhere near as opulent as their big sisters. And yet for me they bring greater advantages overall. Like crocuses, hyacinths and grape hyacinths, they are the first to bloom in the year. With their wide-open calyxes, they are one of the first sources of food for bees. Their bright colors are balm for winter-weary eyes and... they turn wild on their own if they feel particularly comfortable in one location. This means that after a few years you can experience twice if not three times the joy of tulips without having to buy more and do a lot of work.
That's exactly what they are for me! Reasons why I have included a small, finely selected range of wild tulips in my shop. Three beautiful wild tulip varieties have recently been waiting for you here, which harmonize well in the bed or pot and which you can now plant very easily.
Would you like to plant flower bulbs in your city garden for the first time? Then I really hope that my tips above will help you. In addition to the bulbs, I don't recommend much equipment: use high-quality planting wood for planting, which will also accompany you in the garden. I don't believe in having an extra tool for cutting onions, especially in small gardens. You can use a planting stick in many ways - for planting young plants, applying fertilizer, mixing soil... And if you're actually looking for a small pot for your first onions - here it is. (❁´◡`❁)
For more tips and tricks about urban gardens, join me on Instagram and Facebook in my gardening season. Feel free to link me if you sow, plant or otherwise want to support me. I am always very happy to see what emerges and grows from the Sprießerie products.
And: Feel free to write to me if you have any questions or would like me to help you design your city or balcony garden. I would be very happy.
For now, I wish you a lot of fun choosing and putting onions and, as always, enough time to enjoy them.
- Wild tulip assortment
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