Gardening expert explains why you should avoid planting tulip bulbs now or risk ‘disease’

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Now is the perfect time of year to start planting your bulbs and making changes to your garden ready for winter. Planting bulbs now will ensure you have a beautiful display next year. Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries in Kent, Morris Hankinson, explained exclusively to which bulbs you can plant now and why you may want to wait before popping your tulip bulbs in the ground.

Hopes Grove Nurseries was established 27 years ago and grows approximately one million hedge plants in 50 acres of land in Tenterden.

The nurseries regularly supplies plants for ITV’s Love Your Garden which features Alan Titchmarsh and David Domoney.

Morris described autumn as “quite an exciting time” because there are “so many things you can be doing”.

He explained: “We’re coming into peak season for popping bulbs in.

“Then you have that time over the winter where you almost forget that you planted them.

“And then they all start popping up and you think ‘oh, wow!’”

You can start planting everything from daffodils to hyacinth, snowdrops and alliums now.

However, Morris explained you may want to wait before planting your tulip bulbs.

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He added: “The only one you plant later is a tulip.

“If you plant them too early I think they can get tulip fire disease.

“Plant all your crocuses and daffodils and the like.

“We’re coming into it now. If you get a bit of rain, the soil is a bit damper and it’s a bit easier to plant them.”

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Tulip fire disease attacks new tulip leaves which leads to brown spots and rotting on the foliage ad flowers.

On some plants, the buds won’t open all together.

In some cases, the plant can end up covered in fungus and can cause the stem to collapse.

BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has said you should destroy the plants, soil and roots if you have tulip fire.

They also suggest planting tulips in November rather than in early autumn because the soil is colder and fungus is less likely to develop.

Morris also explained that autumn is the “best time” of year to plant a plethora of hardy plants in your garden.

The soil is still warm which means new roots will develop quickly and roots can be established.

While it may not look like much is happening above the ground, Morris said below ground any new plants will be hard at work.

This means next spring, plants you put in the ground now will have a fully established root system and will grow and develop more quickly.

Check out Hopes Grove Nurseries here.

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