“ Brand: J.A. Bowers / Type: Compost / Soil „
Now Spring is finally here it's the time for planting and sowing. I like to plant Summer flowering bulbs into terracotta pots and plastic tubs to bring some colour and brighten up concrete and stone areas around the house.
J. Arthur Bower's bulb fibre comes in a 10 litre thick plastic bag with a handle and resealable opening. It is not the cheapest bulb fibre on the market (currently priced between £3.70 and £5.00) but it is made without using a high proportion of peat.
Oyster Shell. Finely crushed oyster shell is difficult to source as a product on its own but it is ideal for plants. It provides calcium, magnesium, iron and copper which are all very important for the development of strong roots and healthy plant growth.
Wood Charcoal. This helps retain moisture and oxygen in the compost. It is good for drainage and also very high in potash.
Sincro-boost. A relatively new environmentally friendly mixture used to replace peat. It is made from recycled materials and is said to improve plant development as well as ensuring good water retention in the compost.
J. Arthur Bower's bulb fibre is for indoor and outdoor bulbs and I have used it for both. I like the rich dark colour of this fibre and the texture, it's quite coarse and light, slightly moist and not at all dry or dusty. I've found it easy to handle when filling up pots or burying bulbs. After providing good drainage at the base of pots and containers, I've discovered using this bulb fibre is then all I need. No further feeding has been necessary, my plants have grown beautifully with healthy leaves and colourful flowers.The fibre retains moisture really well and doesn't dry out as quickly as many other bulb fibres or peat mixtures I have used.
The heavy duty plastic bag means the fibre stays fresh and moist whilst stored and is best kept in a cool, dry place. I came across an almost empty bag at the back of my potting shed behind a huge gravel pot which must have remained there for nearly two years and was quite surprised to find the bulb fibre was in perfect condition.
I will continue to use J.A.Bower's bulb fibre as I believe it contains all the nutrients and minerals required for the growth and flowering of plants. As already mentioned I find additional feeding is not required so all I need to do is remember to water when necessary. I would recommend J. Arthur Bower's bulb fibre for indoor and outdoor bulb planting.
Thanks for reading!
© Lunaria 2012
Though Spring may seem to be a long time away it is time to fill those tubs up with a variety of Spring bulbs, the bulbs offer the first dash of colour of the year and I for one always look forward to them blooming.
Our local garden centre was busy today, apart from the predictable bedding plants there is little else kicking around at this time of year but the stands are filled with packet upon packet of bulbs of all shapes, sizes and of course species. There is also a very good selection of clay pots and planters on display too so this made the visit worthwhile.
J. A. Bower's bulb fibre is not the cheapest of the bunch but it provides the bulbs with the perfect conditions and nutrients that are needed if you expect to get a good show from your tubs and planters.
A 10 litre bag of J. A. Bower's bulb fibre costs in the region of £6, but having said that it fills four good sized tubs with a bit left to spare.
The Bower's bulb fibre can be used in indoor and outdoor planters . Bower's have created this especially formulated compost to ensure that your bulbs have the correct nutrients and are kept well drained, if the bulbs were allowed to get too wet then after a while the rot would set in.
The bulb fibre contains limestone, wood waste, peat, bark fines, wood charcoal, sulphate of ammonia, phosphate, potassium nitrate and mono ammonium.
Though the bulb fibre is easy to handle you do need to be mindful of a few points, for a start if you are going to store the compost then make sure that it is stored well away from heat, the peat in the mixture is flammable. When you decide to fill your tubs/planters if you have cuts or abrasions on your hands it is better to use a pair of gardening gloves to do the job.
Last but not least store the bulb fibre in a cool place and never put it next to any chemicals that could accidentally taint it.
I like the terracotta planters and I will fill four good sized ones with bulbs so that they can sit at the back of the house, when I look out of the kitchen window I can see the tubs clearly and as the bulbs start to pop their heads up out of the fibre I can watch each and every stage of their growth.
The tubs should have good sized drainage holes in the bottom and always bear in mind that bulbs love to be buried that little bit deeper. If you plant each bulb three times as deep as the depth of the actual bulb then you won't go far wrong.
I love layering my bulbs, this does take a bit longer but it will give you a spectacular show.
My favourite bulbs are narcissi, tulip and I love the grape hyacinth though some say it is a pest!
The Bower's bulb fibre is light and very `airy`, place a layer of bulb fibre into the bottom of the tub and then choose a few bulbs to sit on top of that first layer. Then cover the first layer of bulbs and create another layer and so on.
As the bulbs start to show and bloom you then have a `follow on` effect which looks stunning and will last for a long time.
Bulbs like to be planted close together and like humans they like to be fed well, in turn they will reward you with good sized healthy blooms that will last for a while.
Bower's bulb fibre is like any other compost, it can only be used for one growing session and then it has to be changed. When my tubs have finished blooming and the bulbs have all died back then I empty them out, put the bulbs on a wooden shelf to dry out ( they can be planted into the garden afterwards or saved whichever you prefer ) , put the spent compost onto the heap and wash my pots out in readiness for the next bulb season.
J. A. Bower's produce a wide range of composts and fibres and much I prefer to buy a brand name.
Bower's composts are available in most good garden centres.