Gardeners’ World expert shares how to plant ‘three layers’ of bulbs now ready for spring

Gardening tips: How to layer bulbs in a pot

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Potting up bulbs in September and October is a great way to ensure you have a vibrant and colourful garden in the spring. Daffodils, crocuses and tulips can all be planted now and left in containers ready to sprout in the coming months. If you’re not sure how to layer multiple bulbs in containers, Gardeners’ World expert Kevin Smith has offered his tips in a video for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

Kevin said potting bulbs is “not a new idea”, but he wanted to show gardeners how to get lots of different bulbs into one container for a “really long display” lots of different flowers.

The gardening expert used a bright blue glazed container, putting a layer of multipurpose peat-free compost in the bottom of the pot.

“It can sometimes be a little bit lumpy,” Kevin said.

“So just break it up as you go, it’s nothing to worry about.

“I’m just putting a 10cm to 15cm layer of compost in the bottom, so not too much at all to start with.”

Kevin chose all yellow bulbs but in different varieties to contrast against the blue pot.

He explained that with this type of project, you never know exactly when the plants are going to flower.

They could flower all at the same time or one after another.

Choosing one colour flower ensure they will “always look brilliant”.

Kevin then began to layer the bulbs into the pot putting the largest ones in first – the daffodils.

He explained further: “I’m just going to stick them on the surface of the compost with their pointy end facing upwards.

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“This means that they’ll shoot off through the compost, and get off to a really good growing start.

“Pack them in quite tightly but not so they’re touching.

“The next part of the process is to cover these bulbs up with compost, so you’re just layering them up.

“Just sprinkle compost until they’re all covered. Now it’s time to add the medium-sized bulbs.”

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Using a similar process, Kevin put the pointy end facing up, sitting just on the surface of the compost.

This leaves you with a layer of compost, then the daffodils, another layer of compost and then the tulips on top of those.

You may find the compost is quite close to the top of the pot but that’s okay because the last layer of bulbs are really small.

Kevin continued: “These little crocuses are ever so small, so they don’t need to be very far from the surface.

“The procedure is just the same, you’ve got the idea by now.

“Pointy end facing up, then sit them on the surface of the compost.”

The bulbs don’t require a lot of care so the pot needs to be popped “out-of-the-way”.

You can water the plants if you like but rainfall between now and spring should be plenty.

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