Gardening: When to plant winter bulbs – Mark Lane’s genius tip to stop rotting in wet soil

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Bulb rot is an irritating issue affecting bulbs that get too damp in the soil, usually thanks to the rain. However, it can affect plants in various ways.

One particular rot affecting only tulips is known as “tulip fire” and the tulips growing from it are known as fireheads.

Damaged bulbs are susceptible to it, and it results in brown and shriveled up plants.

Grey bulb rot, on the other hand, can affect daffodils, iris, crocuses, lilies and gladioli – among others.

What can you do to prevent bulb rot?

Mark Lane, BBC gardner who presents Gardeners’ World, told Express.co.uk: “Ideally, bulbs should be planted on well-drained soil.”

If you are concerned about your soil, Mark – who recently detailed a brilliant tip to kill slugs in your garden effortlessly – has a clever one to help soak up moisture around your bulbs.

He said: “Adding horticultural grit or sand to the planting hole, before adding the bulbs will help them from rotting from excessive moisture.”

When you should plant winter bulbs?

Mark said: “Generally bulbs are planted between Sept and Dec for spring displays.”

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However, precise timings can vary from plant to plant.

Mark said: “Ideally daffodils should be planted between September and November.

“Tulips should be planted from mid-to-late autumn.

“This is later than most bulbs but a late planting can help reduce problems with tulip fire.”

Gardening tips: How to layer bulbs in a pot

Crocus and hyacinths should ideally be planted by the end of September, according to the RHS.

Tulips are best planted in November, the RHS said, and lilies, alliums, and crocosmia should be panted in September and October.

The likes of gladioli should be planted in early spring, whereas autumn flowering bulbs should go in by the end of summer.

What are the best vegetables to plant in September, according to Mark? 

Mark said: “Spinach is a really good crop to grow in September because it takes only about six weeks to actually get to the size of a good spinach plant.

“And, in that time you can cut bits off for salad.

“It’s a really good time for radishes.

“Oriental lettuces such as pak choi, they can be grown in September too, and they’ll see you through the winter months.”

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