We had a hard frost here last night, but that means it’s the perfect season for planting fall bulbs expecially those spring-blooming bulbs! I like to add a few more bulbs every year, to add spring interest to my back yard and garden. Here is everything you need to know about planting bulbs. Happy planting!
How to choose which bulbs to buy
Make sure the bulbs are firm and do not show any active growth. Check for mold and fungus, ensure the bulbs are sold in a well-ventilated bag to prevent chances of rot.
Find the right bulb for your garden
Native bulbs tend to thrive; try to find bulbs specific to your growth zone to maximize success. Assess the conditions of your fall garden bed and choose the appropriate bulbs for temperature. Certain tulips thrive in hot, dry spots, while others need more shade and moisture.
If you are planning to add bulbs to a shaded spot, go with Snowdrops or Tommies. When planting bulbs with other plants, make sure to use a water-tolerant variety.
Grow Tip: When you are unsure of the light requirements, plant in full sun, most flowering bulbs do well with more than six hours of sunlight a day.
What bulbs to plant in fall:
Spring-blooming bulbs prefer to be planted between September and October when the soil has cooled but isn’t frozen. While it is still warm outside, planting bulbs can cause them to push growth out during fall instead of spring.
Summer blooming bulbs like gladiolas prefer to be planted in the spring after the last date of frost.
Here are some bulbs to plant in October
Flower bulbs to plant in autumn
Alliums, Bluebells, Daffodils, Iris, Hyacinth, Hardy Lilies (spring flower bulb mix) **See our Amazon associates info in the right sidebar
Other bulbs to plant in the fall
Garlic takes six months to mature and does well when planted in the fall. (garlic cloves for planting) **See our Amazon associates info in the right sidebar
The best soil for planting bulbs in the fall
Bulbs prefer rich, well-draining soil. Bone meal is one of the best fertilizers for planting bulbs. Add bulb starter to the soil and mix in bone-meal during planting and when the bulbs begin to show some growth in the spring. Adding hummus and organic compost will only boost the growth of your bulbs and help them last longer.
Grow Tip: Adding peat moss or other aeration techniques is essential if you have dense soil.
Best way to plant bulbs
Always follow planting directions that come with your bulb. The general rule of thumb for the ideal depth for planting bulbs is to place the bulbs two to three times deeper than the size of the bulb itself.
Make sure to plant the bulbs with the conical side up and the flat side down, however if in doubt, plant sideways, and the shoot should make its way to the top.
When planting bulbs, try to plant multiples to give your garden bed a thicker, fuller appearance. If planting with companion plants, place the bulbs just behind the summer bloomers instead of beneath them. Planting other greenery on top of bulbs can hinder their ability to come back year after year.
Grow tip: Use a spade to firmly place bulbs in place rather than opting for a drill. Find more bulb planting tips HERE.
After planting, care for bulbs.
Mulch the area where the bulbs are planted to add some protection. Adding chicken cages or mesh to protect bulbs will prevent curious critters from digging them up.
Make sure to water your planting site thoroughly after planting but do not overwater as bulbs can rot.
How to store bulbs until planting
For anyone looking to use bulbs seasonally and store them until next spring, after you dig the bulbs out in the fall, the best way is to find a paper bag, use a hole punch to make holes in the bag, and store the bulbs in a cool but not freezing, dark place, like in the garage or basement until next spring.
Position any companions just in front instead of directly on top of the bulb. That way, the other plant won’t overshadow the bulb’s foliage, hindering the photosynthesis that ensures flowers next year.
If you are looking for Fall Tree Care Tips, you can find them HERE.
Hope these bulb planting tips yield beautiful blooms come spring. Here is wishing y’all a happy fall!
By Sargam Merchant
For Home & Travel Cafe By Linette.