It may already be autumn, but if you plan ahead now and plant some bulbs, you will be well rewarded next year with colorful spring flowers – just when you crave them most!
- When to Purchase Bulbs – If you’ve already ordered spring bulbs online they should’ve shipped around September 15 in the Midwest. Spring bulbs are also available in your local garden centers. Store them in a cool place until you are ready to plant them. Tip: Purchase quality bulbs from a reputable company or garden center or you may be disappointed next spring!
- When to Plant – Plant your bulbs when the average nighttime temperature is between 40 – 50 degrees. In the Midwest this is in October. If you plant your bulbs too early it may lead to fungus. If you plant bulbs too late the roots won’t have time to establish and the ground will be too hard to dig.
- Where to Plant – Plant your bulbs in a well-drained, loosened soil in a sunny location. Working in some compost or potting mix will help. Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer and water thoroughly after planting. Tip: Because most trees have not grown any leaves yet, early spring bulbs will have sun in most locations in your garden!
- How to Plant: Plant bulbs with the tip facing upward! Unless you want your flowers to bloom in China! Rule of thumb is to dig the hole 2-3 times the height of your bulb. It helps to use a bulb planter tool with the measurements on the side.
- Cover: And lastly cover your plantings with a couple inches of mulch. Also, consider covering your flower bed with chicken wire to prevent animals from digging up your bulbs. You can remove it in the spring. Or if you have a kind heart let the animals find some of your bulbs. They have to eat too and hopefully they won’t get them all.
Here are a few spring favorites to consider planting: Tulips, Narcissus, Iris, Hyacinth, Crocus.
by Janice Ruzich