Wednesday Tips #4

tulips 012Most young children find growing plants both interesting and enjoyable. Bulbs are generally easy to grow with rewarding results. After planting a bulb, growth is fairly rapid once  the foliage appears above the ground. A few weeks later and a bud will emerge to swell and finally  burst revealing a flower.

Tulips can be planted from late Summer to early Winter and daffodils a little earlier. If there is no garden space available, bulbs also grow well in pots which could then be placed on a sunny windowsill or balcony. Best results will be obtained if a good, free draining potting mix is used and the bulbs are planted at the correct depth (usually written on the side of the bulb packet or else ask the specialist at point of sale). You can talk with your young gardener about which way is the right way up to plant the bulb as roots grow down and shoots grow up.

Once placed in the growing medium and carefully covered with their blanket of soil to keep the bulbs snug, regular watering is necessary to ensure adequate moisture,  a perfect job for your young gardener (ensure free drainage). Before long there will be excitement as the first  shoots emerge like  little green pointers. Then in late Winter or Spring you should be rewarded with  fat flower buds which will finally burst to reveal  beautiful daffodils or brightly coloured tulips.

It may be worth following up the experience by looking closely at an onion together to see how a bulb has many layers and to find right at the heart the shoot just waiting to grow. If you go to the greengrocer, supermarket or market together you could also investigate the types of bulbs we can eat. Different coloured onions, leeks, shallots, salad and spring onions and fennel are all edible bulbs.

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