Monty Don hosts the first of four special winter episodes of Gardeners’ World this evening, where he focuses on the most important tasks to be done throughout the month. He demonstrates how to plant tulip bulbs for a thriving spring display, no matter what type of soil you have in your garden. The BBC Two show host suggested using pots to avoid one of the most common problems faced by gardeners – drainage.
Monty explained that while it can feel like the gardening season “shuts down” in winter, in fact there is always something to do and see – although it takes a sensible look.
Along with harvesting some of her favorite seasonal vegetables, she showed viewers how to plant a selection of colorful tulips ahead of spring.
The Gardeners’ World host said: “Now is the time to plant tulips. You can plant tulips without any problems any time until Christmas.”
While spring bulbs are ideal for planting directly into flower beds and borders, the 67-year-old pointed out that in some cases pots are better.
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Monty filled the pot with a peat-free compost mix and halved again to make it “really, really gritty”.
He demonstrated the potting method with three types of tulips that he layered using the “lasagna” method.
Carnaval de Nice – A tulip with “raspberry ripple” style petals, a BBC presenter placed them in the soil with the pointed end up.
The presenter said: “Great job to cram them. Do not hesitate about attribution.”
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He added: “As long as they’re not touching and there’s breathing space between them, you want to fit as many bulbs as possible.”
After covering the first layer of bulbs with a layer of compost, Monty planted a second layer—which was made up of 10 Monton tulips.
This variety is known for its peachy-orange petals that perfectly complement the raspberry color of Carnaval de Nice.
According to Gardening Expert, some overlap is okay because the stems will still find their way through.
For the top layer, he used bright orange Dordogne tulips and covered them with a light layer of soil to finish before watering them.
While newly planted bulbs are well protected from excess moisture by using a large pot, Monty said more should be done if you struggle with garden pests.
He added: “If squirrels or even mice are a problem digging up your bulbs, I think if you get some chicken wire and scrape it and stuff it in, it will keep all but the most determined squirrels away.” Very good at scaring.
“You won’t see any flowers before mid-April and into May, but following these tips will keep them safe until the flowers are gone.”