Gorgeous summer bulbs can be a fabulous way to add color to your garden, but some of them — like gladioulus, caladiums, and dahlias — are not hardy over the winter in most areas of the United States. And, if you’re like me, it can be tough to remember to dig them up in time, or to even just feel like bothering when the cold weather is rolling in.
So here’s the trick – plant your cold-sensitive bulbs in a container like a metal basket (non-reactive of course) or plastic. We picked up a milk crate from Lowe’s for just a few dollars and used them to plant my caladiums in!
Dig a large hole to set the milk crate in. If you turn the top layer upside-down into the milk crate, it will help keep all the dirt from pilling out too fast.
Put more dirt into the crate (or basket if you choose) to bring the level of the plants up to the top of the milk crate.
Fill in any gaps with extra soil until the milk crate is filled.
We were replenishing our garden’s mulch as well (See next month’s Lowe’s Creative Inspirations post for more on that subject.) so we made sure any edges of the crate were covered over with mulch.
What’s left is my summer caladium bulbs in the last empty shade spot of my front border looking bright and cheerful and providing the perfect contrast to the ferns and camellias planted there.
In the fall, when frost kills the tender, frost-sensitive foliage, I can easily lift the entire basket, clean the bulbs up, and stick them in the laundry room for the winter. This will save me a lot of money come spring, because I’ll be able to replant all the bulbs the next year instead of having to replace them from scratch!
What are your favorite summer-blooming bulbs?
This post was written as part of the Lowes Creative Inspirations challenges, and I am compensated for the materials used to purchase the supplies shown in this tutorial. All concepts, photos and words are my original work.
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