Color Your Garden with Spring Flowering Bulbs

With a little bit of effort this fall, you can add a welcoming burst of color next spring with flowering bulbs. Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus and Hyacinth beckon sunny days and warmer temperatures after a chilly winter. 

Whether you are planting a formal, dense garden setting, or adding a splash of color in naturalized areas, now is the perfect time to start planting. Planting spring bulbs in the fall gives them the cooling off period they need to produce magnificent blooms in spring. In fact, you can plant them right up until the ground freezes. 

Quick Tip: Plant your spring bulbs as soon as you can after bringing them home. Bulbs will get soft or moldy if kept ‘above ground’ over winter.

For a spectacular spring show, be sure to check the bloom color, height and time period. Many people think all spring bulbs bloom at the same time but they bloom any time from early to late spring, depending on the variety. That’s a fabulous thing if you are looking for a cascade of color with very little work!

Give some thought to how you see these spring beauties enhancing your garden. Individual bulbs scattered throughout the garden will add surprise pops of color. A cluster of 12 or more bulbs planted together can add some intensity to the color palate of your garden.

Quick Tip: Spring bulbs should be planted at a depth at least 3 times the height of the bulb.

When planting your bulbs, as always be sure you have prepared the soil by adding compost, organic matter or a high quality garden soil to the area. Knowing how deep to plant the bulb is also important. Planting too deep or not deep enough can impact the bulb’s ability to flower and its exposure to late winter cold. As a general rule, a bulb should be planted at least 3 times the height of the bulb. That means:

  • Crocus: Plant 2 to 4 inches deep
  • Hyacinth: Plant 4 to 6 inches deep
  • Daffodil: Plant 8 inches deep
  • Tulips: Plant 4 to 6 inches deep, 4 to 6 inches apart

Be sure to add some bulb fertilizer when planting. Once you’ve installed the bulbs, remember to water them regularly until the ground freezes.

Quick Tip: If critters digging up your bulbs is a concern, cover the area with chicken wire. The flowers can push through but the critters can’t.

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