Bulbs in pots
I consider myself to be quite experienced in growing most types of plants, but I have never really got that involved with those plants that are considered to be Alpines. Earlier in the year I joined the Alpine Garden Society mostly because it has an excellent seed list for members, but also because I discovered it had a local group that had monthly meetings near to where I live and I’ve been looking for a decent Gardening Club to attend for ages now.
After joining up I received lots of pamphlets, journals and growing guides and had a good read through plenty of information on the Societies website.
I had seen in other places bulbs grown in pots for Spring flowering, and I usually lose any bulbs I plant in my garden to the extreme wet winters we have been getting, so I had decided that for this Autumn I would only plant bulbs in containers, but having read some information from the Alpine Garden Society I decided to grow some assorted bulbs in clay pots for a nicer display.
I started with purchasing some bulbs.
I already managed to obtain some second-hand unwanted clay pots from a gardening pal, I purchased some Horticultural sand, grit and John Innes number 2 and a little peat based compost as I don’t have any leaf mould handy.
The recipe for a potting mix from the Alpine Garden Society is
For alpines in pots
3 parts John Innes Compost No. 2 or 3
2 parts leaf mould or composted bark
1 part grit
1 part sand
All ingredients were mixed up, pots selected and a layer of compost put into the bottom of the pots.
The bulbs were then nicely spaced out in the pot and topped up with more compost.
I packed in the bulbs of each individual species to hopefully give a good display.
These are Iris Reticulata Cantab bulbs.
The pots were filled with compost and a half-inch layer of sharp grit was added to the top to prevent the compost from drying out as per the Alpine Society’s recommendations.
I potted up several species of Cyclamen Corms in shallow pans, with the same deep grit topdressing method.
The species I potted up today were, Single Snowdrops, Double Snowdrops, Iris Cantab, Iris Gordon, Erothium ‘white’ and a Fritillaria species which was planted in a deep plastic pot.
Also several Cyclamen species were potted, they were Cyclamen Cilicium, Cyclamen hederfolium, Cyclamen hederfolium ‘Album’ and Cyclamen coum.
All pots placed on the shelves of one of those zip-up cheap greenhouses, without the clear canopy in place.
Now I will just have to wait and see what grows up and how well.
The details of the Alpine Garden Society are http://www.alpinegardensociety.net/