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Garden Basics

Growing spring bedding plants – how and when? 

Tulips work in well with Spring bedding plants

There is a wide range of plants that can be grown to give flower colour in early spring. Sometimes called winter bedding, but spring bedding is a more accurate description.

Some plants will have flowers in the middle of winter – notably the winter flowering pansies. Some primroses and polyanthus will also have flower, but the winter pansies are best.

Masses of colour can be achieved in the early spring, with planting choice of Forget-me-nots (myosotis), Primulas, Pansies and violas, aubrietas - aubrietias, wallflowers (Erysimum) bellis daisies and yellow alyssum. If you add the spring flowering bulbs to that list and include tulips, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops and hyacinths, you can blast away the winter blues with a mass of colour.

Spring bedding plants normally start to flower at end of March – depending upon variety and of course the weather conditions.

All of the plants in the above list can be bought at good garden centres or nurseries from September onwards, and should be planted early enough to get established before the winter sets in. Bulbs will be in stock from August onward, with daffodils (narcissus) needing to be planted at end of August or early September. October is fine for tulips (Not earlier).

If you want to raise a few plants from seed for spring bedding, then most of them will need to be sown between May and June – ready for planting out in September. Far better to buy plants at that time, for the germination of some plants – primulas and pansies in particular – can be a bit erratic unless you can keep them in cool temperatures.

By David Hughes - info@gardenseeker.com 

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