It’s Time to Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs!

It’s as easy as ABC – you plant in fall to enjoy in spring!

Daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, snowdrops, and grape hyacinths are all planted in the fall so you can enjoy their beauty in the spring. It’s not unusual for people to see a March or April garden full of spring blooming tulips or daffodils and want it at their own home without delay. Remember – you plant in fall to enjoy in spring. It’s time to buy and plant!

First time planting bulbs? If you have little or no experience with spring-flowering bulbs, here’s how to select for quality, where to plant, how to plant, and extending bloom times for longer enjoyment.

  1. Select for quality: Always buy bulbs that are firm, not mushy, or smelly. Store them in a cool, dry location if you’re not ready to plant. Bulbs can be planted into December if the ground is not frozen.
  2. Where to plant: Choose a sun to part sun location where the soil is well-drained, especially during the winter months. Locations that are more shade than sun should be avoided.
  3. Bloom time: Bagged bulbs are generally labeled for early, mid, or late season bloom; read the packaging for this information. If you’re clever, you can enjoy a sequence of bloom for several months or more when you buy combinations of early, mid, and late season bulbs.
  4. Preparing the site: It’s best to prepare the soil before planting spring-blooming bulbs. Soil should be dry before you dig. If planting in heavy soils, the addition of compost or composted manure will help improve soil struc­ture and drainage. Soil in garden or landscape beds should be turned over with a spade. For smaller areas, like rock gardens, a trowel or bulb planter will do the trick.
  5. How to plant: A general rule of thumb is to plant 2 ½-3 times the diameter of the bulb in depth. Don’t forget to water the planting area when done.
  6. Helpful hints: Squirrels can be problematic, especially with tulips. Cover planted beds with fine mesh wire or use animal repellent. Read and follow package directions.