Lubbe & Sons Ltd. - Machine planting of flower bulbs
Lubbe & Sons (bulbs) Ltd planted the first bulbs by machine in the UK over 15 years ago. Almost without exception, every one of our clients who have used our service, have come back again and again. This in itself is a testament to the level of service we are committed to. Our complete package of pre planting site visit, combined with fully serviced planting operation with bulbs delivered to site along with the machine on the same lorry, and full on-site project management is unique in Europe. No other company can offer you this “one stop shop” for planting bulbs.
Mechanical mass bulb planting saves the client so much work, as well as bringing benefits for nature and the environment, which would be unaffordable if it was done by hand. Read in this chapter what mechanical bulb planting has to offer for you.
Why plant by machine
It is well known what a laborious, thankless, task large scale bulb planting can be. Ask your staff how they fancy planting 100,000 bulbs in grass? We all know what their reaction will be! We are all aware of what the cost implications are in such a labour intensive operation. The simple cost of planting will almost certainly exceed the actual cost of the bulbs themselves. This is even more apparent when planting smaller bulbs at higher densities. Then there is the issue of correct planting depth. At the start of the day, we can all plant bulbs by hand at the correct depth, and density, but as our back begins to ache, and we become tired, there is always the temptation to plant a little shallower, to make it easier. And to plant a little more dense, to get the bulbs in the ground “out of sight”, or for some sacks to get lost, so as to avoid the issue of planting them at all.
Even when all of these problems are resolved: “We have great staff” who “love planting bulbs 24/7”, and “we have the recourses to pay the staff anyway”, answers we don’t often hear from our clients anymore, does it really make sense to do things the hard way? More common comments nowadays are;
- “We would love to plant more bulbs, but we simply don’t have the man-hours to spare. Our members of staff need to be out cutting back the shrub beds and doing the last grass cuts of the season”.
- “We have a special budget available for capital improvement works, but don’t have the time to plant bulbs”
- “We would love to plant bulbs on that central reservation, but the road would need to be closed for a week, and the traffic management required makes it out of the question”.
- “Yes, we have some money available, and a couple of workers available to do the work, but I simply don’t have the time to work out any schemes, I have too many meetings to attend”.
Then we have the answers to your problems.
Where plant by machine
At our disposal we have two types of planting machine. With these machines, it is possible to plant bulbs among grass, in open ground and on embankments.
Direct fertiliser application
Among grass and open ground
The machine for planting bulbs under grass is able to lift the turf, and plant the bulbs, evenly spread over the one meter planting width.
This machine is also suitable for planting in open ground, providing that the soil is firm, and preferably uncultivated.
For embankment planting we have a different machine, specifically designed for working on embankments. It is now possible for us to plant on gradients of up to 35 degrees which opens up a whole new array of possible locations. We foresee this technique being used on many locations where it is not possible to cut the grass with a ride on mower, due to the adverse gradient. It enables you to efficiently plant long flowering mixtures of bulbs to effectively cover banked areas, reducing the number of routine cuts throughout the mowing season.
We tested this machine three years ago, and it has proved to be a huge success, with many beautiful flowering embankments to prove it.
The machine plants an evenly spaced band of bulbs 1 metre wide. The tractor is 1.4m wide, and the tractor and machine is 4m long.
It is important to add fertilizer to your planted bulbs to get the best long term results. New to our machine planting program is the option of direct fertiliser application to the root zone, exactly where the bulbs need it. To achieve this, we use a small applicator which is mounted on the front of the planting machine.
We use a 100% organic DCM ECO- slow release Mix, which meets all the nutritional requirements needed for many years of successful flowering. Being slow release, we can apply the fertiliser in the autumn, and it is readily available to the bulbs in the spring, just when they need it.