Planting bulbs that produce during the summer months can save you time and money during the hotter months. Keeping your flower beds full of life during the dry season requires commitment. Here are some tips for planting and managing your favorite type of summer flowering bulbs.
Common species of these flowers include multiple types of lilies, caladiums, cannas, begonias, dahlias, and more. Bulbs have certain advantages in hot climates and adapt uniquely to different types of soils. Most bulbs prefer a moist, well-drained soil so be sure to monitor your soil samples. If you are located in sandy or heavy clay areas, add a soilless potting mix to create a richer growing environment.
Northwest Alabama Regional Extension Agent for Home Grounds, Gardens, and Home Pests Taylor Vandiver said, “For summer flowering bulbs it is important that you don’t plant too early. Plant in the late spring after the danger of frost has passed.” Timing is important because a bulb that is planted too early may rot before it gets the chance to sprout.
Exposure to sunlight requires some planning when deciding where you want your bulbs to grow. Bulbs respond well to a healthy balance of sun and shade so consider the sun’s path across the sky and notice what parts of your garden will be most exposed during the day. Research the specific bulb tendencies and plan your growing areas accordingly.
Watering schedules are crucial to the health of any plant, but even more important during the hot and dry summers in the southeast. In periods of low rainfall make sure to supplement with irrigation and fresh cover for the planting area. “Mulch is a great option, not only for moisture retention but for weed control and suppression,” said Vandiver.
Extra care for your plants starts by scouting for pests and insects during the planning stages of your landscape. Bulbs are susceptible to several diseases carried by insects above and below the surface. There are plenty of ways to be proactive in dealing with a problem in the garden and it starts by examining your plants regularly.
Be sure to allow enough room for each bulb to grow efficiently and if an issue arises, contact your local extension agent by visiting http://www.aces.edu/directory/.