Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs
Benjamin Kilbride, Editorial Assistant at The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Fill your garden with color next year by planting spring-flowering tulips this fall!
Why Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs in the Fall?
Spring-flowering bulbs are planted in the fall so that they have plenty of time to grow roots over the winter in preparation for spring. Planting time is usually from September to mid-October, about 2 to 3 weeks before the ground freezes. In warmer climates where there are no (or few) hard frosts, plant as late as November.
Tips for Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs
- Choose a location where the bulbs will receive part to full sun in the spring.
- Amend the soil with compost so that it is well-draining and full of nutrients.
- Generally, plant bulbs at a depth of three times the width of the bulb. Plant crocuses and snowdrops 4 to 6 inches deep, and daffodils, irises, and tulips 8 inches deep.
- Plant bulbs pointed end up.
- Plant multiple bulbs together for a brilliant display, as well as for insurance in case some do not sprout.
- Plant short bulbs, such as crocuses, at the edge of paths and garden beds.
- Water well after planting.
- Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch over where bulbs are planted to hold in moisture and keep the weeds down in the spring. Make sure the mulch layer isn’t too thick or it might make it difficult for the bulbs to grow.
Bulbs to Plant
Crocus – An early-bloomer, crocus come in a range of colors and are usually among the first flowers to be seen in the spring.
Daffodils – A classic spring-flowering bulb, they’re easy to maintain, are deer-resistant, and are early to flower.
Irises – A hardy and reliable flower, irises attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
Snowdrop – Another early-bloomer, snowdrops are known for their flowers that look like little white bells.
Tulips – A popular choice, tulips bloom early in the spring and look stunning when planted in tight groups.
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