Now is the time to plant bulbs to enjoy the first blooms of next year’s spring season. The bulbs will make roots over the winter and come up early in the spring.
If you think that autumn’s the time to stop gardening, think again! It’s bulb-planting time!
Tips for Planting Bulbs
- Be sure to buy your bulbs from a reputable nursery, garden center, or catalog. Second-rate bulbs product second-rate flowers or don’t sprout at all.
- It’s best to plant bulbs before the ground freezes, usually in September or October.
- Ideally, plant your bulbs soon after you purchase them. Don’t wait too long, or they may not grow properly.
- Bulbs do best when planted at a site with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Work a few inches of compost into the soil for best results.
- Plant bulbs generously just in case some do not sprout. It’s best to plant them in random order and spacing for a more natural appearance. If you love groves of daffodils and blanketed landscapes of tulips, be prepared to buy and plant a large quantity of bulbs!
- As a general rule of thumb, plant bulbs at a depth of three times the width of the bulb. If you have sandy soil, plant bulbs slightly deeper; in clay soils, slightly shallower.
- After planting, apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer, such as a 9-6-6 formulation.
- Water your bulbs well after planting. Also, you can apply mulch to hold in moisture and keep weeds at bay.
- If you have voles, chipmunks, or other pesky critters in your garden, consider planting your bulbs in a “cage” made from chicken wire.