Now is the time to prepare for bulbs that bloom in the spring. They are easy to grow and a welcome sight after a long winter. Spring blooming bulbs include daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, allium, and many others. With little care at planting time they will reward you with blooms for years. The only challenge is remembering to purchase and plant the bulbs in the fall.
Bulbs need several weeks in the ground to get their root systems growing before the ground freezes. The best time to plant spring blooming bulbs in our area is September through November. Late planted bulbs will develop roots in the spring and may bloom later than normal. They will get back on schedule the following year.
When selecting bulbs, choose large, firm ones. Size DOES matter!! Large bulbs produce large flowers or more flowers per stem. Avoid bulbs that are dried out, spongy or soft. Select an appropriate location. Most flowering bulbs prefer full sun. Most trees do not have leaves yet when the bulbs bloom, which gives you many options for a spot of color. A location with well drained soil will prevent the bulbs from rotting.
After selecting an area, lay the bulbs out on the ground to get a sense of the arrangement you would like. This is helpful if you are planting masses of different colors. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of planting 100 bulbs or more, they just take seconds to plant!
Bulbs need to be planted at a depth about 3 times their diameter. For example, 2″ daffodil bulbs should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep. Smaller bulbs can be planted at a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Plant teardrop shaped bulbs pointy side up. Flat bulbs should be planted flat side up. On some bulbs, you can see where the roots develop; plant that side facing down. Sprinkle a little specially formulated bulb food or bone meal into each hole or trench to promote vigorous blooming in the spring. After planting, cover with mulch and water thoroughly. Done.
With a little work in the fall, you can enjoy the first signs of spring in your own back yard. It’s worth it!
-Provided by Oakland Columbus