Kids Go Gardening - grow hyacinth bulbs

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Autumn and early winter are the best times to plant bulbs. Plant some bubs in pots now and you’ll be amazed at the results in spring!

Bulbs come in all shapes, sizes and types and are available from your garden centre.  There are plenty of beautiful flowers to choose from - daffodils, freesias, crocuses, tulips and a fragrant favourite, hyacinths – so many you’ll be spoilt for choice!

What is a bulb exactly?

A flower bulb is really an underground storehouse and flower factory. Within the bulb is just about everything the plant will need to sprout and flower at the right time.
In the centre of the bulb there are leaves cradling a baby bud. Surrounding the bud are thick white ‘scales’, which contain all the food the bulb will need to flower and thrive. The basal plate at the bottom of the bulb, holds everything together, including the roots that grow from it. All of that is wrapped up in a protective outer skin called the tunic.
All this magical little piece of nature needs us to do is plant it in the ground and give it a drink. The bulb does the rest!

Hyacinths in a pot 

Grow a pot of hyacinths for the table - so you can enjoy the amazing perfume up close! It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

You will need:
a terracotta pot (15-20cm diameter)
3 hyacinth bulbs
Bulb planting mix
Gloves (Hyacinth bulbs can irritate sensitive skin)

  • Plant your bulbs:  Fill your pot with bulb potting mix so it is about 2/3 full and space the bulbs eveny on top, not too close to the edge. Add more potting mix so that the bulbs are just covered.
  • Put the pot in the fridge so the bulbs can cool down and grow strong roots. If there is no room in the fridge put it in a cool space outside. Check often and water if need be - enough to keep the potting mix just moist.
  • After about six weeks, when the bulbs have started to sprout, put them outside in a sunny place (roots growing out the bottom of the pot are a sign that shoots will soon appear). Once the flowers start to open, you can bring them indoors.

Once hyacinth flowers begin to open they will last longer if moved away from direct sun.
For a non stop supply of spring flowers, plant a pot every week or two.

Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs. They can cause a skin rash on some people.

Keep cool!
Bulbs LOVE the cold. That’s why we plant them at the start of winter. Keep bulb pots outside until they flower - they need the cold to grow. Putting your tulip bulbs in the fridge for a couple of weeks before you plant them will make them extra happy so come spring, they’ll be blooming lovely!

Bulb planting tips:

  • Bulbs HATE puddles. In other words they must have good drainage. If your ground is too heavy to let the water drain through, plant your bulbs in containers with bulb planting mix. 
  • Bulbs grow best in sunshine. But some, such daffodils, grow really well under deciduous trees. The bulbs flower once the tree has dropped its leaves to let the sun shine through.
  • Before planting bulbs in the ground dig in plenty of compost.
  • The ‘rule of thumb’ for bulb planting is to plant the bulb twice as deep as its diameter. For example, if a daffodil bulb is 5cm wide, plant it 10cm.



Hyacinths in a pot

Hyacinth bulbs