By Heather Rhoades
Image by Laura Stone
You can spend lots of money on the best bulbs in world. You can spend your time making sure that they have the right amount of light, water and fertilizer. And you can keep a vigilant eye out for rodents that may eat your bulbs, but all of it will mean very little to the overall health of the flower bulbs in your garden if you do not have a good bed of soil to plant them in. Let’s learn how to prepare soil for your bulb flower bed.
Bulb Garden Soil
So, what is the best soil for a bulb flower garden? The best soil for bulbs should be a humus-rich, sandy loam soil. It should be neutral to slightly acidic (pH between 5.5 and 7.3). It should also be rich in nutrients.
The best place to start in getting the best soil possible is to have your soil tested. If you are a do-it-yourself type person, your local garden center sells soil testing kits that can tell you the pH level of your soil. For a more thorough analysis that includes an analysis of soil pH, nutrient content and soil composition, your local garden center or extension service can analyze a sample of your soil from your bulb flower bed. Make sure you check your extension service, as frequently they will test your soil for free or at a discounted price.
How to Prepare Soil for Your Bulb Flower Bed
Once you find out the quality of the soil in your bulb flower bed, you can take steps to amend the soil. If your soil is too acidic, you can add some lime. If your soil is too alkaline, you can add sulphur. If your soil is too clay heavy, some sand mixed in will help break it up a bit. If your soil is too sandy, adding some humus (such as compost, leaf mold or well-rotted manure) will help it retain water better.
If your bulb garden soil analysis comes back saying that your soil is low on nutrients, humus can help you there as well. You can also add some fertilizer in instead of humus, but be aware that when you use manufactured fertilizer, you run the risk of over fertilizing your bulbs and burning them.
Once you have added everything you need to create a good bulb garden soil, till the area thoroughly to mix in all the ingredients. Once you have done this, your bulb flower bed is ready to be planted with all of your favorite bulbs.