Pre Planting Bulbs in Pots

It is possible to lift spring flowering bulbs in summer, after flowering is over, and replace them with other seasonal bulbs or bedding? Simply dig them up with a spade, take care not to slice them in half, and move them elsewhere while their life cycle is completed.

Alternatively, plant them in a perforated plastic pot that can be buried in the border. This makes lifting much easier and allows the bulbs to complete their growth cycle without any root disturbance.

Special wide bulb savers can be used, which control the planting area and make lifting straight forward. Simply dig a hole that is wide enough to bury the bulb saver in the ground, at the required depth, using a layer of gravel if necessary to make a level base.

Position the bulbs and fill in with soil. If bulbs are not required for the following year, lift after flowering. If they are required, allow them to complete their life cycle and only then lift and store.

Pre-planting in pots is also a useful technique for dealing with summer flowering bulbs that cannot survive frosty, damp conditions and are best planted in the garden only after all risk of frost has passed.

Bulbs planted in containers the previous autumn, such as dubium, or earlier spring, such as freesias, can be transferred to the garden in early summer when they are already well into growth.

Similarly, they can be lifted in autumn before the onset of wintry weather. Purple sensation and Lilium regale grow side by side and in both cases the seed heads can be left intact to encourage self seeding, but also to be enjoyed in their own right.