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Kelways Guide to Summer-flowering Bulbs

Summer Flowering Bulbs - Planting Guide

One of the great things about planting your Summer Bulbs is that they require very little care. Plant them in early spring and you will soon observe the stems and leaf growth, followed by the flowers smashing through in summer!! At Kelways we have a huge variety of rich colours you can choose, to show your garden off! We have put together three short & informative care guides featuring Gladiolus, Begonia and Dahlia.


Preparation :

Gladiolus perform best in a well-drained but moist soil, which is also fertile.
A free-draining soil, such as Loam, Sand or Chalk, is generally considered the best soil to grow gladiolus in.
Use a garden fork to loosen the soil about 17-20cm deep.
We would recommend raking in some well-rotted manure, to help feed the bulbs and retain the moisture.

Planting :
Plant them in their flowering positions, between 17-20cm deep.
Space them about 15cm apart. If you have quite a few don’t plant them all at once.
Stagger planting to get a better succession of flowers.

Care :
They love the sun and make sure to water enough to keep the soil moist.
When the flowers appear, apply a high potash feed for at least 2-3 weeks during flowering, which will strengthen the flower spike.

Keep in mind:
You may wish to provide support for the flower spike to fully enjoy the magnificent blooms.



Dahlias are tolerant to a wide range of soil types but thrive best in rich well-drained soil.
Rake in plenty of organic matter and well-rotted manure into the soil prior to planting.
This will create ideal conditions for them to thrive.

Plant them in their flowering positions, we would advise about 10-15cm deep.
Make sure to press down firmly on the soil once they are in position.
Once shoots star to appear, start watering regularly to prevent tubers from drying out.

Keep them well watered and once flowers appear, feed with a high potash liquid feed.
You can insert canes on planting and tie in as growth develops for taller varieties.
Deadhead as flowers fade to promote side buds.

Keep in mind:
Dahlia's will not grow in cold soil, so wait until the soil starts to warm before planting directly into a border.
You may wish to pinch out the main growing stem when it reaches about 12", to encourage more stems and flowers.


Begonias are a beautiful addition to any garden, thriving in fertile well-drained soil.
Best grown on in pots or seed trays of moist but sandy soil before planting in flowering position.

Place the tuber on top of the soil with the hollowed side facing upwards. Slightly push tuber down to 2.5cm deep; the top of the tuber should remain exposed.
Ensure soil is moist but do not overwater, especially before any growth can be seen.

We would advise feeding them with a high potassium feed during the summer.
Deadhead as flowers fade, and pinch-back regularly.

Keep in mind:
Avoid getting water on the leaves.
Position in sun or partial shade for best results.