Time for summer bulbs
Twice the benefits: the relaxation you get from planting them and from watching them bloom
As the sun shines longer and brighter, the garden gets greener and greener, but when will those colorful flowers start brightening up the view? Fortunately, freezing weather is behind us, so summer bulbs in every color of the rainbow can now be planted. Just another job that has to get done? No way! Scientific studies have shown that gardening is a delightfully relaxing activity. After relaxing during planting your bulbs, you can look forward to sitting back and enjoying their flowers. In other words: twice the benefits!
Research has shown that engaging in physical exercise in the fresh air reduces the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the blood. It also lowers your blood pressure. Whenever you’re physically active in the garden, your everyday worries soon fade from view. What could be better? So start associating ‘work in the garden’ with ‘a relaxing little project’ instead of just ‘a job that has to get done’. This relaxing little project will give you even more rewards. In the summer, your summer bulbs will grow into beautiful flowering plants. Watch as they turn from colorless, oddly shaped summer bulbs into plants bearing radiant, colorful flowers.
Before and after
At first glance, it’s hard to imagine how these lifeless-looking little bulbs can produce a sea of flowers. But leave it up to summer bulbs to do just that. Everything they need to pull off this feat is right there in the bulbs themselves. They’re like little underground factories. The only other things these flower bulbs need are light, warmth and water. The transformation from ‘before’ to ‘after’ is truly amazing.
1, 2, 3... Planted!
Summer bulbs can start being planted in April once the danger of frost has passed. If winter lasts longer than usual, however, wait to plant them since they cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. You will then have until the end of May to plant them.
Use a trowel to dig a hole or furrow in the soil. Most summer bulbs, corms and tubers should be planted at a depth twice their own size. Begonias and dahlias, however, are exceptions since they should be planted just below the surface.
Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and level it out a bit but do not tamp it down.
Arrange small summer bulbs about 4 inches apart. Five inches is a good distance for gladioli, 10 inches for begonias, 12 inches for lilies, and even 16 inches for dahlias.
Place the flower bulbs gently into the soil without pressing on them.
Cover the flower bulbs with soil. Summer bulbs will need more water than usual as soon as they are planted in order to produce roots quickly. During a dry spring period, it would be a good idea to keep the soil in the garden moist.
Summer bulbs will also thrive in pots. Make sure that the pot has a hole in the bottom so that excess water can escape.