Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Bulb Frame
Started by: Norman WoodGo to latest contribution by John Good, 16 September 2014, 19:15. Go to bottom of this page.
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Has any got any tips for growing bulbs in a bulb frame. I am not which bulbs are suitable or if a bulb frame is really necassary
A very good question Norman which I have been trying to work out too!!
Any of Brian Mathew's books, below which are avaiable relatively cheaply on the second hand market, will provide valuable information as will Ian Young's Bulb Log on the SRGC Site.
The Smaller Bulbs.
The Larger Bulbs.
I have always wanted to make a bulb frame because on the whole we have never grown bulbs very well; they either get too wet at times in the summer when they should be dry, or too dry in the winter when they should be wet - a bulb frame makes you think directly about the natural conditions they experience in the wild, which are often obvious but like many aspects of growing plants can often take a long time to take properly onboard. Martyn Rix's Pan Guide to Bulbs also has a good section on making a frame, the soil to use etc., but I think probably the biggest incentive is becoming so hooked on growing the choicer species of crocus, iris, fritillaria and so on that it becomes essential (there is also the question of pests such as mice, which are much easier to control in a bulb frame if it's carefully made). There are lots of bulbs that grow perfectly happily in garden conditions, it's those that need that long and consistant dry summer rest, and extra heat, which benefit so much. The best thing of all must be having all these flowers appearing during the coldest and least comfortable months and that's a pretty good reason to go ahead and make one!
I agree absolutely with Tim. I have a 2m x 1m Access frame, which is excellent, with the bulbs grown in plastic pots standing on a sand base. Currently the autumn flowering cyclamen are looking great, especially C. cilicium which grows ok outdoors here but never looks quite as good as the plants in the frame, Also good now is Colchicum boissieri, and C. parlatoris is just past its best. From now on throughout the winter I will always have something of interest to bring into the alpine house, and few things in alpine gardening give me more pleasure than to be able to enjoy the flowers close up in comfort! You may or may not know that Cyclamen cilicium is sweetly scented, bring it into the alpine house and any such doubt will be dispelled as the delicate bu beguiling scent fills the still air.