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Winter Bulb Planting Instructions

Calla Lilies

Recent breeding in Calla Lilies has produced some fabulous colours and forms, but until now many of these varieties have only been available to commercial growers for the cut flower and export markets. We are happy to announce that GardenPost has secured an fabulous range of PVR (plant variety protected) Calla bulbs that home gardeners can buy for the first time.

These bulbs will produce several flower stems in the summer, making them ideal as attractive garden plants and of course wonderful cut flowers. These bulbs should flower well this summer but a sudden cold snap during active growth can sometimes shut down their ability to flower. If this happens be assured that they will definitely flower prolifically in the second season.

Planting

Whilst Calla bulbs can be planted straight way it is recommended that the bulbs are stored in a cool, dry cupboard and planted from September onwards. It is important not to plant the bulbs until the soil temperatures reach around 14 degrees. In very cold areas they perform best if planted in pots rather than the cold ground. These Callas make excellent patio/conservatory plants in all areas.

Plant in free draining soil at a depth of 7 – 10cm, in semi-shade to full sun. Apply a general garden fertiliser low in nitrogen.

FOR BEST RESULTS, lift tubers on die-down and store in a cool, dry area for replanting next season.

Lilies

Plant bulbs immediately on arrival - do not allow bulbs to dry out before planting. Lilies like semi-shade or full sun. Plant 10-15cm deep in a well-drained, slightly acidic soil with good humus content. Apply a good garden fertiliser when planting, and thereafter each spring.

DO NOT USE sheep, cattle or fowl manure, or lime. Lilies are best left in the same position for several years. After flowering leave stem on bulb until leaves turn brown then cut off at ground level.

Lilies in Pots

Lilies look fantastic in pots. Choose a large pot with good drainage holes. Use a good quality potting mix. Do not use garden soil in pots. Liquid feed or add Osmocote after 4 weeks. Plant 1 bulb in a15 cm pot, 3 bulbs in 30cm pot. Fertilise each year and re-pot after three years.


Other Summer Flowering Blubs

Plant to twice the depth of the bulb in well-drained soil. Use low nitrogen fertilisers.

Garlic

The best time to plant garlic is June — traditionally the shortest day of the year (21 June) and harvest on the longest day of the year (21 December). In cooler districts garlic can be planted in May right through to August.

It is possible that garlic purchased from the supermarket has been treated with a retardant to stop the bulbs from sprouting. This will explain the stunted growth and distortion. GardenPost garlic bulbs are NZ grown and have not been treated – they can be planted or eaten fresh.

Plant into a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Dig in generous quantities of compost, and an application of general garden fertiliser and lime before planting. Break the bulb into individual cloves taking the largest cloves from around the outside of the bulb — discard the smaller ones or use in cooking. Break the bulb up just before planting. Keep the area weed free and if conditions are dry, keep well watered.

Plant cloves with the narrow end up, so they are just covered − approximately 2-5 cm deep. This will depend upon the size of the clove. Reduce watering one month before harvest to improve the keeping quality. If flower stalks appear, remove them as this will reduce the size of the garlic bulbs when harvested.

Trest Elephant garlic the same but plant the whole clove - it does not break up into smaller cloves like regular garlic

Shallots

Plant the whole bulb in autumn (May onwards) in well-drained rich soil, but not where you have grown onions, garlic or leeks before (otherwise your shallots will get nasty diseases). Do not plant too deeply. Once established keep them well-fed with nitrogenous fertilizers and well watered if the soil gets dry. Closer to harvest time lay off the nitrogen.