How to plant a bulb bucket

"There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in my bucket. dear, Liza, a hole.
"Well plant it, dear Henry. And please stop repeating yourself."

OK, so the original song might have been slightly different, but my version makes a lot more sense.

If you have a bucket with a hole or a slit, it may not be great at carrying water, but it's perfect for planting bulbs in the autumn. In fact you will need to make a few more holes (with a drill for plastic or a hammer and nail for metal – and, obviously, done by an adult). You can explain to the children that this will stop the compost getting too soggy because plants need to have air in the soil as well as water.

Bulb bucketAs they will have to wait a very long time to see their flowers, and given that kids aren't known for their patience, it can be a good idea to decorate the bucket for some instant colour. We used acrylic paint pens on ours (but then, as you probably know, I use acrylic paint pens on almost anything. Some days our cat even looks at me nervously... and keeps walking).

Next, the children can fill the bottom of the bucket with a shallow layer of stones or pebbles (this stops the holes getting bunged up) and then add some potting compost, firming it down as they go.

You can use different types of bulbs in a single bucket, just remember to leave some space between them and plant each bulb to the depth of three times its height.

You can even have more than one layer of bulbs. For example, large alliums, followed by hyacinths, small daffodils and then crocus near the top.

Make sure the children keep their bucket well watered if there hasn't been much rain. They can check if is needs watering by pushing their finger in about 5cm (2in). If the soil is dry there, it needs a drink.

This project is from 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside.

** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **

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