Bulbs require a period of cool winter to flourish the following spring. When planted in well-draining soils rich in organic matter, bulbs perform optimally.
Make sure your bulbs are of good quality (check their packet for more details), and plant at their recommended depth — typically two or three times their height. To protect tulips, daffodils, and other early spring bulbs from rodent damage use perennial plants like Heuchera or Hardy Cyclamen as barriers around them.
Spring-blooming bulbs add welcome color to early perennial beds, annual flower gardens, walkways and containers where summer flowers won’t emerge until later. They work especially well when planted clump by clump rather than rows for a more natural appearance and don’t mind if some are closer than recommended spacing–that only adds charm!
Successful spring-flowering bulb planting requires planning ahead. If you plant them too soon in fall, their growth could accelerate too rapidly and send up leaves before they have had time to chill enough to produce blooms in spring – taking all their energy photosynthesizing leaves and flowers and not enough for survival over winter.
Gardeners in USDA Zones 1 through 4 can typically plant bulbs safely during late summer or early September if temperatures have sufficiently cooled off; otherwise they should wait until fall or November before planting.
Before planting bulbs, loosen and amend the soil by mixing in compost or organic matter like manure or other sources. Bulbs require good drainage for proper growth; by mixing organic matter into the mix you can help facilitate that. Avoid planting in heavy clay soil if possible and consider adding horticultural grit to each hole to aid with drainage, according to University of California research. When digging holes make sure they are wide and deep enough for their bulbs while spacing holes at least twice their width apart for best results.
Once bulbs have been planted in the ground, mulch them to protect their stored energy and prevent weeds from depleting it, while at the same time protecting against fungus or rot that could compromise them. Water regularly and frequently in areas without rain to keep soil moist; during spring blooming top-dress with light granular fertilizer when flower buds first emerge but before their petals fade – this will promote next year’s bloom as well as long-term health benefits; every six weeks or so use liquid or granular formula when feeding your bulbs if they’ve been neglected for some time – this should ensure rebloom next year if flower buds begin faded prior to blooming again.
If you plan to plant summer-blooming bulbs (such as gladiolus, calla lily, elephant ear or ranunculus), wait until fall to plant them in the ground. They require cool temperatures for them to wake up from dormancy and start flowering come springtime.
Planting tomatoes depends on your climate; generally though, late September through November for those in Zones 5 through 8 is ideal.
As part of an inviting display, plant masses of bulbs in groups such as tulips or daffodils in order to form natural and colorful displays. Bulbs can also be placed among perennials or shrubs in rock gardens or near mailboxes or front doors in sunny spots for optimal results.
When planting them, follow the directions on their labels regarding depth. Larger species should be planted deeper than smaller ones, with organic material or compost added for improved soil quality. Also consider adding slow-release granular fertilizer when finished but be careful not to pack down.
After your bulbs finish blooming, don’t cut back their spent foliage too soon – this allows photosynthesis to continue replenishing nutrients they’ll need for next year. To minimize any concerns over fading foliage, plant them behind perennials and annuals which can cover them as their foliage fades.
Keep the quality of the bulbs you purchase high by selecting large bulbs with firm, intact husks that don’t appear brittle or soft, such as those which seem fragile or contain too much moisture. The best bulbs tend to have larger than average sizes with firm and intact husks compared with their counterparts from home improvement stores. You can often tell their worth from their price tags; more expensive varieties tend to produce more flowers and grow larger. If rodents like squirrels or gophers nibbling at your bulbs then cage them from home improvement store hardwire cloth before covering with chicken wire protection from underneath; water them regularly throughout spring/summer but not excessively frequently as too much moisture may lead to them rotting!
Plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus and irises in late autumn when temperatures have cooled off and soil conditions allow. Too early planting could deplete their energy before enough roots develop to support themselves; premature planting also risks having their shoots be shaded out before blooming is complete.
Spring-flowering bulbs should be planted deep enough so they have time to rest through winter before emerging in spring as blooming blooms. Although each variety of bulb has different recommended planting depths, as a general guideline try digging holes twice as deep as its height and planting them with their pointed ends facing upward (check your packet instructions), two to three times wider apart than their width and watered after planting to settle their soil properly.
Bulbs need well-drained soils, so loosen and improve drainage as necessary before beginning digging. Add compost, mulch or slow release fertilizer (such as 9-6-6 formulation) before lightly tamping down. You may also choose to sprinkle additional low nitrogen fertilizer ( such as 9-6-6 formulation) around their planting areas after placing.
After planting, mulch the bed a month later with 3- to 4-inches of hay, straw or shredded leaves for maximum warmth during winter and protection of new shoots if snow occurs during the early months of the growing season.
If you’re worried that voles, squirrels or gophers might dig up your bulbs, consider adding a layer of chicken wire before covering your bed with mulch. Or try planting bulbs such as tulips and crocus in cages made from wire mesh or chicken wire to deter rodents; or keep them indoors in pots that can later be brought outside when ready to flower; just remember that potted bulbs won’t have the same long-term, full impact as naturalizing in the garden!
Have you been shopping at Stockslagers this Autumn and purchased bulbs like tulips, crocus, daffodils and hyacinths but now worry that they won’t survive winter? Perhaps planting is too time consuming or you missed your window of opportunity?
Answer: Nope. If you live in a cold climate, late fall or even December/January can be ideal times for planting spring-blooming bulbs as most of their growth takes place during summer and needs rest during the winter season. Without sufficient chilling periods during this crucial stage of their lives, plants could live shorter lives with diminished flower production.
Soil preparation is key when planting bulbs. Bulbs flourish best in well-drained, amended with compost or other organic matter and loosely amended with compost before planting, such as planting in raised beds or sloped rows. If your garden beds contain heavy clay soil or compacted sand beds, loosen and amend them before you plant – adding a low nitrogen fertilizer (such as 9-6-6) at planting is highly recommended!
When planting bulbs, dig holes that are deep enough and wide enough for their size; spacing most bulbs twice their width apart. Once planted, water thoroughly but not excessively as too much moisture will rot the bulb. In very cold temperatures, cover your bulbs with mulch or straw for protection; additionally use wire mesh fencing or animal-resistant plants as deterrents against squirrels and mice from digging up your hard work!
Spring brings bright pops of color from tulips, daffodils and narcissi that add cheery brightness to perennial gardens, annual beds, walkways, containers and more. These bulbs look especially impressive when planted en masse to form an eye-catching blanket of colors in your garden – or to cover any bare patches which won’t fill in until later this season with perennial plants.