Bulbs are often a very underused, misunderstood plant. I think part of the reason is that you usually buy them when they are dormant and not very interesting. However, taking the time to plant some bulbs now, will bring you a wealth of color in the early spring.
There are plants that bloom almost any time of the growing season, but they are best known for spring because they are usually some of the very first color after the bleakness of winter.
Just like any plant, give them a good start and they’ll continue to produce for you for years to come. Of course the first thing is to make sure the bulbs do well in your climate. You need to know what zone you live in. For instance, tulips don’t do as well when there are fewer chill hours. They will only bloom for a season or two and then die.
The second thing is to place them well. Early spring blooming bulbs can be planted almost anywhere, since they’ll receive sunshine before the trees and shrubs leaf out. However, as spring advances you need to make sure the plant will get enough light to flower nicely, but also enough light so that the leaves can bring in the energy to the bulb, to store for the next years bloom.
Giving them the right start is important, and there are specialty blends of organic fertilizers just for your bulbs.
Last you need to plant them at the correct depth. A rule of thumb is that you plant them 3 times their height. So, a 2” tall bulb would be planted 6” deep. A chart is handy to have on hand, so that you can know at a glance.
I’ve found a planting auger to be great to get lots of bulbs planted fast. I use a pretty high-powered drill, since we have hard clay soil here. So keep in mind that you need to have a drill that is powerful enough to break through your soil.
I’m always so excited to see the first harbingers of spring, as crocuses, daffodils, and tulips change my drab winter garden into a bright patchwork of color.
One hint. If you have critters that like to eat your bulbs you can do one of two things. First you can put them in a wire cage with holes small enough that the critter can’t get in, or you can plant daffodil bulbs around the tasty treats. Daffodils are poisonous and most critters won’t go any farther than them. Once they find a daffodil they hightail it out of the area.
- A Special Thank You For Your Gardening Helpers
- Mom & Dad