Lasagna Bulb Pot Easy Fall Project - Dengarden - Home and Garden
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Lasagna Bulb Pot Easy Fall Project

Jill likes cooking, writing, painting, & stewardship, and studies gardening through MD Master Gardener & Master Naturalist programs.

As the daffodils fade, the tulips in this lasagna bulb pot come into flower. Gorgeous!

As the daffodils fade, the tulips in this lasagna bulb pot come into flower. Gorgeous!

This year I chose crocus, tulips, and daffodils for our container bulb garden.

This year I chose crocus, tulips, and daffodils for our container bulb garden.

how-to-make-a-lasagna-bulb-pot

An Easy Fall Project

Like the pasta dish it's named after, lasagna bulb container gardens are arranged in layers.

Layering bulbs in flower pots is an easy, space-saving method for producing gorgeous container flowers that will bloom from March through May.

Unlike beds of bulbs, which can look messy after the blooms fade, a bulb container garden can simply be moved to an out-of-the-way location until it begins to sprout again the following spring.

What You'll Need

Growing a lasagna bulb pot is easy, and it doesn't require any special equipment. All you need is:

  • Ordinary potting mix
  • A large, deep flower pot
  • Early, mid, and late spring-blooming bulbs, such as crocus, narcissus, and tulip

To feed the bulbs, you can also add bonemeal to the layers of your container garden.

Tulips are planted in the second layer of this  lasagna bulb pot. This variety will come up in early spring, just a little after the crocus.

Tulips are planted in the second layer of this lasagna bulb pot. This variety will come up in early spring, just a little after the crocus.

I planted daffodils first, six inches from the pot fill line.

I planted daffodils first, six inches from the pot fill line.

Be sure to plant the bulbs pointy side up.

Be sure to plant the bulbs pointy side up.

Select a Large Flower Pot and Add Soil

This year I chose a very large lightweight pot for our container bulb garden. Even partially filled with soil, it's heavy, but because of its rounded bottom I can tip and roll it to an out-of-the-way spot behind some shrubbery until spring.

Once you've added a good base of soil, it's time to plant the bulbs.

Fill about 1/3 of the pot (or more, depending upon the depth of the container) with ordinary potting mix.

Depending upon the bulbs that you're planting and the size of your pot, you may have to adjust the amount of soil as you plant.

Place the bulbs thickly, so that they're touching, or space them three to four inches apart, depending upon the bulb size.

Place the bulbs thickly, so that they're touching, or space them three to four inches apart, depending upon the bulb size.

Sprinkling bonemeal into the pot? Strictly optional.

Sprinkling bonemeal into the pot? Strictly optional.

Layer 1: Largest Bulbs

Because the daffodil bulbs that I purchased were the largest of the group, I planted them first at six inches deep after sprinkling the soil with bonemeal.

Check the packaging on your bulbs for planting depth. Not all narcissus are the same, and some may do better if planted eight inches deep. I chose a mid-spring blooming daffodil that will flower just as the tulips are beginning to fade.

When planting the bulbs be sure to set them so that the pointy side is up. I planted mine about four inches apart, as I intend to use this container bulb garden year and year and anticipate that the bulbs will reproduce. However, you could also plant them thickly, so that they're almost touching, for a thick mass of flowers the first time.

Cover the bulbs with soil, and then plant the next batch of spring bulbs, in our case, tulips.

The second layer of our lasagna bulb pot is planted in tulips, which will come up at about the same time as the crocus.

The second layer of our lasagna bulb pot is planted in tulips, which will come up at about the same time as the crocus.

Layer 2: Similar to Layer 1

After you've covered up the first layer of bulbs, measure from the soil to the where the soil line will be before planting the next layer.

The early spring tulips that we purchased need to be planted about five inches deep. After checking and adjusting the amount of soil in the pot, I sprinkled in bonemeal and then placed the bulbs pointy side up.

As with the daffodil bulbs, I spaced them out, positioning them about three inches apart, but I could have planted them thickly, setting the bulbs side by side.

To Pot or Not to Pot?

The crocus bulbs will be the  first  to bloom in our container garden, pushing their hardy shoots through the soil in late winter/early spring.

The crocus bulbs will be the first to bloom in our container garden, pushing their hardy shoots through the soil in late winter/early spring.

Cover crocus bulbs about three inches deep.

Cover crocus bulbs about three inches deep.

The bulb bottom may have roots or a little indentation.

The bulb bottom may have roots or a little indentation.

Space the crocus bulbs two to three inches apart or closer.

Space the crocus bulbs two to three inches apart or closer.

Layer 3: Smallest Bulbs

Now it's time to plant the smallest of the bulbs, which have the most shallow planting depth.

I chose crocus, an early spring bloomer that will come up at about the same time as the tulips.

Once again, I measured from the soil to where the soil line will be. To plant the crocus bulbs three inches deep, I had to add more soil. Then I sprinkled on bonemeal and placed the bulbs.

Tips and bottoms are sometimes difficult to distinguish with small bulbs like crocus, so you'll probably have to examine each one carefully before setting it in place.

If you do set a bulb on its side or upside down, however, no worries: if it's a healthy bulb, it will sprout anyway. It will just take longer to burst through the soil than the other bulbs.

Either cover the surface of the soil with the small bulbs so that they're almost touching each other or space them a few inches apart. Then cover them with about three inches of soil.

Once you've planted all the layers, water the pot well. Then apply a thin layer of grit or gravel if you like, gently patting the stones into place. (Sharp stones will deter pests from digging in the pot.)

This year I am picking out the sharpest, pointiest bits of gravel I can find and topping our lasagna pot with them. Our biggest garden pest, the dog, has been known to dig up bulbs (repeatedly) in order to lick off the bonemeal. Luckily for him, his good looks and charm are such that we overlook his little idiosyncrasies, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to slow down the destruction, at least a little bit.

Planting Time Table

Late Autumn: After planting your lasagna bulb pot, water it thoroughly and set it in an out-of-the-way location where it will continue to enjoy natural light and rain.

Early Spring: In early spring, when the earliest bloomers begin to sprout, move the container bulb garden to a prime location where its flowers can be seen and enjoyed.

Summer: When the last of the late spring blooms fade, set the pot out of the way—to the side of the house or behind the garden shed— after giving it a good dose of fertilizer.

Care Tips

Set the lasagna bulb pot in an inconspicuous location in your garden—behind the tool shade or by the side of the house or, in our case, behind a bush in the flower bed.

Don't shelter the pot. Allow it to receive natural light and water.

Ignore the pot until spring when the earliest bloomers (the crocus bulbs) begin to sprout. Then it's time to place the pot where you can enjoy its flowers until they fade in late spring/early summer. Be sure to water them during the blooming period.

Once the last of the tulip blooms die, place the pot once again in an inconspicuous spot in your garden.

Fertilize it with bone meal or a fertilizer made specifically for bulbs, and leave it alone until next spring when your lasagna pot of bulbs will once more burst into bloom.

If squirrels and mice are a problem where you live, cover the top of the soil with gravel to deter them from digging.

This year, I didn't bother to cover my pots with gravel, and squirrels dug the bulbs out of one of them. Now the other two are in bloom, and it's just a sad little pot of dirt!

© 2012 Jill Spencer

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 23, 2012:

Glad you like the hub, ps. Lasagna bulb pots are any easy way to enjoy spring flowers. Thanks for you comments. Happy holidays! Jil

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 23, 2012:

This is awesome. I am always looking for something new and creative and this is it for sure. Thank you so much for sharing.

The step by step directions and pictures help so much.

Sending Angels your way :) ps

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 18, 2012:

Hi ktrapp. Glad you like the idea! Hope you have lots of pretty blooms come spring. --Jill

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on December 18, 2012:

What an amazing idea that solves both the problems I have with bulbs. First off I have a problem with squirrels digging them up, but I think I can keep them away from containers. And secondly, I don't like the way they look after the blooms are gone. Removing the old containers and then replacing them with the in-bloom containers is genius. I am definitely going to do this, but first I have to get my hands on a lot of containers!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 04, 2012:

Hi donnah75! I'd make the pot at least 12 inches deep to give the tulip bulbs room to root. Glad you like the idea! Take care, Jill

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on December 04, 2012:

Great idea. How deep should the pot be at a minimum? The video looks great. I will watch it straight through later when I am not reading from my phone. Voted up!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 04, 2012:

Hi Glimmer Twin--It's not too late here in MD, as the weather is still autumnal and the leaves are still on the trees, although definitely turned. The bulbs would definitely still get a good long chill before the big warm-up in spring if planted now.

@ Aviannovice--I really like the portability of the lasagna bulb garden & that the blooms succede each other. No matter how I much interplant, my bulbs in beds always seem to have a period of awkward ugliness. Thanks for commenting! --Jill

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 04, 2012:

Yes, this is an excellent idea. It basically is a carefree little mini garden.

Claudia Mitchell on December 04, 2012:

Up and awesome. This is a great idea for a Christmas gift if it is not too late in the season. It's been fairly warm up here so it may just work. Thanks.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 04, 2012:

Hi Georgie! Lasagna bulb pots really would be a good gardening activity for kids. They're easy to do--and you have to get your hands a little dirty.

Hey Eddy! Appreciate your kind words. Thanks for sharing the hub!--

Jill

Eiddwen from Wales on December 04, 2012:

Another beautiful and useful hub. Thanks for sharing and I vote up plus share. Have a great day.

Eddy.

GH Price from North Florida on December 04, 2012:

Much like Natashalh, I was wondering how someone could grow lasagna flowers or even the tasty dish! This seems like an amazing idea. I bet my roommates' kids would love doing this! Thank you for sharing.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on December 04, 2012:

Haha! Wouldn't that be cool? (With cheese mulch.)

Natasha from Hawaii on December 04, 2012:

I'd never heard I this - I was wondering if there was some lasagna flower I had never heard of!