newbie wanting to plant annuals over bulbs

fivefootmenaceSeptember 26, 2010

Does anyone know which annuals will have shallow enough roots to plant over spring-flowering bulbs? The area I want to cover with annuals once the bulb flowers are spent is along my driveway so if the annual could be low lying and be able to spread that would be fantastic...I just have no idea which would work...any help would be appreciate because I'm clueless.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey newbie ...

seriously ... you are so jammed for space.. they have to be planted directly on top of each other ...

if you put 5 tulips/daffs ... in a space the size of a dinner plate ...

you then plant the annual over where the coffee cup plate goes.. and in a month or so .... it grows over to the bulb area ...

can you do it as you wish.. sure go for it .... and maybe the annual will restrict water to the bulb below.. and suck nutrients ... and maybe it wont...

worst thing you can do is waste a few bucks... and live and learn ...

all i know ... in my sand.. it wont work ...


    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:13PM
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You can't plant anything over bulbs but you can plant beside them and let the Annual spread out over where the bulb is. That would mean that you have to have spaces between your bulbs. Planting over them wouldn't be good for the bulbs or the Annual. You must leave the foliage of Tulips die back naturally to feed the bulbs for the next year

I plant my bulbs in clumps I dig a hole and put about 5 or 6 bulbs in. I use the early flowering tulips--Tulips come in early mid and late flowering. I space them about 3 inches apart in a circle, with 1 in the center. When the time comes to plant Annuals, I plant 3 or 4 Petunias next to the clumps The Petunias spread and by the time the dead tulip foliage is ready to be pulled, they are starting to fill in the space where the Tulips are.

I use Petunias but you could use anything that tends to have a sprawling habit
Allyssum, Dianthus, Portulacca,and Nasturtium are some that come to mind.

You can also dig up your bulbs and plant them in pots and allow the foliage to die back. Pull off the dead foliage and store the pot in a cool dry place until the fall, when you'd plant them again

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:29PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

In the spring, while the bulb foliage is still up, plant your small sized annuals in the spaces between the clumps of foliage. As the bulb foliage turns brown, then and only then, cut it to the ground. As the annuals grow, they will spread out and cover the area. Almost any kind of annual you like will suffice, but if you want low spreaders, you can't go wrong with the folowing, some of which are actually perennials, but would be treated as annuals in your area:
lantana (you only need one plant every three feet, that's how far it spreads),
sweet potato vines (they spread even more than lantana).

I assumed that you meant summer flowering annuals. If you want annuals that will also grow and bloom in the spring, say, petunias, larkspur, dianthus, etc. put something small and inconspicuous in the ground to mark the spots where you want to plant the annuals at the same time you plant your bulbs. In my climate, I must refrigerate tulips for 8 weeks before planting, so I use 4-6 inch lengths of vinyl window blinds to mark where I will plant my tulips in late December or January. I simply dig the hole where my marker is, and that way, I won't disturb the perennials that are also planted in the area.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:30PM
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thanks oilpainter and donnabaskets for the great advice. The suggestions you made are very helpful. Now I have choices as to which annual would work for the I'm gonna have a hard time waiting until the spring :-)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:00PM
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