If you want beautiful flowering bulbs in the spring, you have to plant them in the fall. Tulips, narcissus/daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus are just a few of the spring-flowering bulbs that require planting while the bulbs are dormant.
A LITTLE PLANNING GOES A LONG WAY with this group of beauties. You don’t have to plant hundreds of bulbs to make your spring garden pop. I recommend planting in small groups of seven to 25 bulbs and adding a few new varieties each fall. If you can’t remember what you have planted or where, take pictures in the spring to pinpoint the open spaces when it’s time to plant in the fall.
MOST SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS PREFER FULL SUN and need well-drained soil. The general rule for planting depth is three times the diameter of the bulb. For example, bulbs that are 2 inches in diameter should be planted at a depth of 6 inches. Most have very few pest problems, but deer and squirrels can do some major damage to your planting, so pick your bulbs accordingly.
DON’T PLANT UNTIL MID-OCTOBER and finish planting by mid-December so bulbs have time to establish before spring bloom. Local garden centers start stocking dormant bulbs about mid-September. Shop as early as possible for the best selection.
Read more tips on planting bulbs in this month’s click Garden Almanac.
SHELLY NOLD is a horticulturist and owner of The Plant Kingdom. 4101 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40207.