What You Want to Know About Planting Flowering Bulbs
Are you thinking about planting flowering bulbs?
Planting bulbs in the fall is a great idea if you want spring flowers. Snowdrops and Scillas are one of the earliest flowers to bloom and will be a welcomed sight as the long winter months come to close. Remember last spring time when all your neighbors had beautiful daffodils and bright yellow, red, and purple tulips popping up everywhere? Well, if you want to add those stunning beauties to your landscape, now is the time to plant.
It may feel strange planting now for something you won’t be able to see the benefits until months from now, however, many of your favorite flowers need time to winterize and need to be planted in the ground now.
Why plant bulbs?
Planting bulbs is the best way to get a perennial garden. Planting annuals can be beautiful, but can you imagine not having to put all the hard work to get stunning flowers and add beautiful foliage to your yard? Once your bulbs have established, there will have very minimal care with a huge payout.
When is the Best Time to Plant Bulbs?
The type of flower you want will determine when to plant. Since we are in late fall and looking at the winter, let’s take a closer look at what flowering bulbs are best to plant during this time and why.
Planting in late fall to early winter is the absolute best time to plant bulbs for plants like daffodils, tulips, crocuses, irises, hyacinths, and bluebells. The goal is to plant your bulbs about 6 week before the average first hard freeze date. These flowers actually need a period of cold in order to bloom, but also need time to grow roots and become established before the winter. It can feel like a long time to wait to see those pretty flowers, but once they are established, you will be having a flourishing flower bed before you know it.
Depending on the climate you live in will also determine when you should plant your bulbs. If you live in a warmer climate, you might want to wait till late fall and maybe into December. If you live in a northern region, you will want to plant your bulbs a little earlier like late September or October. Check the temperature at night. The ideal temperature to plant bulbs will be when nighttime temperatures are around 40 – 50 degrees.
Now, if you feel like maybe you missed the perfect time, go ahead, plant them anyways and give them a shot. Bulbs are different then seeds, and they will not survive out of the ground. So, if you have bulbs get them in the ground and give them a fighting chance. The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center said it best, “Flower bulbs are survivors by natures’ design.” They might surprise you as they pop up next spring.
Another option, if you really want make sure those bulbs survive, is to buy them in pots and then transplant them in the spring as soon as the ground has thawed.
Tips for Planting Bulbs
When preparing to plant your bulbs, make sure that the soil is soft and workable. Adding a layer of compost will add an extra boost of nutrients and help your bulbs to become established. Be aware that there are some fertilizers that can damage bulbs and roots.
When planting your bulbs, dig a hole about two to three times deeper than the bulb is tall. For example, if you have a 2 inch bulb, you will want to plant a hole around 4-6 inches deep. When you place the bulb into the hole, make sure to place the bulbs pointed end up.
Plant your bulbs in groups of at least six. The closer they are together, the better the display. You can even plan to plant in groups of 25 – 50 and watch as they stun all that come by. Think of planting them as borders and keep in mind the other foliage that you have in your yard.
Water and Root Sticks
Using the Root Stick is a great option to add to help your new bulbs establish the root system they need before entering into the winter. While these bulbs will need to winterize to flower in the spring, they also need to have an established root system before full blown winter hits.
Root Sticks are a tool that you can install next to your newly planted bulbs. They act as a direct-to-root watering system that helps the water gets directly to their root source to make sure they have the amount of water they need. While each flower bulb’s water needs might be different from another, having Root Sticks in place will ensure that your bulbs are getting the H20 they need.
Root Sticks are very cost effective as they come in packs of 20. You can use them all over your garden including vegetable gardens, around hostas, and in flower beds.
Protect Your Spring Flowering Bulbs From Pests
When you cover your bulb, you need to watch out for little critters like chipmunks and squirrels that can dig the bulb out of the ground. Placing a layer of mulch over your bulbs will help to protect them from pests.
Worth the Effort
Planting bulbs for the spring will be like giving yourself a sweet present. It might feel strange at first to put some work into your yard just to see frost and snow cover it up. Rest assured that underneath that cold ground there is magic waiting to happen. With just a little effort and planning ahead of time, you will find yourself amazed at the beautiful flowers that pop out of the ground. Do not be surprised if you even see a few popping up through snow. It will be the perfect way to help thaw yourself out of winter.
Have you ever planted bulbs in your garden before? If so, what is your favorite bulb to plant? Have you seen any flowers pop up out of the snow? We would love to hear your insights and thoughts. Please comment below.