Planting multiple bulbs in 1 Hole? reALLY

joefalco(z8 MB SC)October 27, 2005

I read in another post that people plant 3 different bulbs in 1 hole.

I was wondering how does this work and woldn't 1 bulb interfere with the growth of the others. Can someone explain this technique to me.

Sounds great if it works 1 hole to plant 3 bulbs and I guess I could sqeeze more bulbs in less space.

I just can't see how it can work.

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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

I do this sometimes, but probably not the way you're thinking. With minor bulbs like crocus or scilla, when I am putting in a lot of them, I like to get a somewhat natural scattered look. I will dig a LARGER hole and flatten the bottom to place 2-4 bulbs in a near group, but still with room between. You can simply not dig 4 holes this close together, yet still seperate without assurance that your first bulbs stay where you put them till the last one is planted.

I would never plant more than one bulb directly together in one small hole, and would absolutely never mix bulb types in one.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 7:53AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Initially I would plant daffodils very deep, say 1ft or more, backfill with bone meal, compost & soil, add a tulip at about 6-8" depth, backfill again with bone meal, compost & soil,then plant minor bulbs such as Scilla, crocus, Muscari, Chionodoxa, etc. in the same hole. I also fit in a lot of minor bulbs around the planting hole for large bulbs. Works fine for me over the years.

Daffodils do need to be thinned out maybe every 8 - 9 years. By then tulips would have to be dug out anyway since they don't live long in my garden. Minor bulbs are easily lifted and spread around.

I also have perennials and shrubs in my garden. My garden is very full and I have flowers to enjoy from late late February through October and shrubs and seedheads the rest of the year.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 8:21AM
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It is a process similar to layering different bulb types in a container planting and can be helpful to those with limited area available. Dig a good sized, deep hole and place the largest bulbs (generally daffs or tulips) on the bottom level. Cover with a light layer of soil and plant the next layer - hyacinths, species tulips, smaller species narcissus, etc. Cover these with soil and plant a final layer of smaller bulbs - crocus, muscari, chionodoxa or small frits, etc.

These layered plantings look best if each layer is a single bulb choice and can provide a long season of interest without masses of unslightly spent bulb foliage dotted throughout the garden. I would not consider these permanent plantings however, but if you change out your bulbs regularly (as I do), it is great way to concentrate a longlasting bulb display for several seasons anyway.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 9:20AM
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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

In a previous garden, I planted several varieties of bulbs in one hole with good results. I moved away from that garden after only 3 years, though, so I don't know how this works long term. In my present garden, I do what George does--dig a large-ish hole and scatter several bulbs of the same variety in that one hole. I do this because it's easier, and it helps me get drifts of color, rather than splotches.

Planting different types of bulbs in one hole can lead to some wonderful combinations. You can plant early-mid-late bulbs, or you can plant a few different bulbs that bloom together for an in-ground bouquet.

This may just be common sense to others, but I had to learn the hard way to place smaller, shorter bulbs *at the front* of the hole as it's viewed in the garden. My former garden was in front of a house, and was viewed only from the street. In that garden, I planted daffs, tulips, Scilla siberica and Anemone blanda together in one hole (well, in a series of one-hole plantings). Some of the scillas and anemones ended up on the house side of the planting holes, and, even before the daffs and tulips bloomed,. their foliage grew tall enough to hide the flowers of the smaller bulbs.

Good luck and have fun experimenting.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:13AM
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I'm not the most experienced or sophisticated gardener, but I have planted tulips and daffs in the same hole and it looks great. All I do is dig a big hole at least 8 inches deep and put some tulips and daffs in and cover it up. I like to space the holes almost a foot apart though.
I've put as many as 8 bulbs in one hole and haven't had a problem. I dig up my bulbs each spring, clean them up and re-plant in the fall.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:28PM
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Ditto to the person who said shorter bulbs in front.

I had the fantasy that the daffs would grow up through the crocus and everyone would be pretty. NOT.

I plant my daffs about 8 inches deep. I just put in a new bed and was able to dig big wide holes then place many in an area. I filled them with soft soil and will plant plansies on to.

When the tulips have finished their chill time, they'll go between the pansies and on top fo the daffs. I only plant them with an inch or so of soil on top because they are annuals. That makes them easy to lift.

You could dig a big hole and plant tulips and daffs together if you can do them all at once.

In front of this will go my crocus which do return fairly well here and leave a soft foliage edge.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 11:04PM
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Nell Jean

You can plant daffodils 3 bulbs to a hole, IF you dig a hole with a post hole digger instead of a bulb auger. If you use an 8" post hole digger attached to a tractor PTO, you can plant 5 bulbs to a hole. All three methods worked for me. The bulbs must have room to multiply if you want them to persist.

I've never planted different bulbs to a hole, except for muscari with daffodils, which worked. I don't care to have dying foliage of larger bulbs like daffodils up against my tulips and so forth, where they don't all bloom together, which is never guaranteed. When I plant them in the same bed, I try to stagger the bulbs by expected bloom time, so that the dying foliage will end up in the back. Doesn't always work, but I try.

Spring bulb planting is a year to year challenge, to figure what bloomed when and hope they bloom in that sequence the next year. Second year bloom times may vary, since the prechilled daffodils will bloom on Mother Nature's schedule the second year. It's all fun.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 10:14AM
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