There’s no better time to plant bulbs for spring flowers than now. It’s a lovely time to work in the garden (with cooler temperatures!) and planting bulbs now allows them to “winter over,” absorbing much-needed nutrients which will result in healthy, beautiful spring flowers.
When to plant. Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool which is typically when temperatures hover between 40 and 50 degrees at night. If you live in a warm climate, you will probably need to pre-chill your bulbs in the refrigerator for 6-10 weeks in order to ensure spring blooming.
Where to plant. The Dutch say (and who knows more about flowers bulbs than the Dutch?) “Bulbs don’t like wet feet” so make sure you plant them in a sunny spot with good drainage.
How to plant. Planting depth instructions will come with your bulbs but, generally speaking, you want to plant small bulbs 5” deep and large bulbs 8” deep, pointy end up. Make sure your soil is free of rocks or other debris and mix in compost and a slow releasing fertilizer. You may water to stimulate growth but there is no need to continuously water. Normal precipitation during winter months should provide enough moisture for your bulbs.
What to plant. Crocus are the first of the spring bulbs to pop their heads out (ours show up in mid February!) followed by grape hyacinth, hyacinth, daffodils, tulips and finally iris. There are dozens and dozens of varieties of these spring bloomers (particularly daffodils, tulip and iris) and you can find out more about them by checking out websites like: http://www.daffodilusa.org, http://www.tulip-info.com and www.irises.org.
Fall is a great time to start planning next year’s garden and getting your spring bulbs in the ground now will ensure a great start to Spring, 2018.