Monday, October 18, 2010

Planting Bulbs for Spring Color

It's that time of the year that you start thinking about the garden for next year and what better time to plant bulbs for that wonderful spring color. Nothing says "spring" like blooming Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths and Crocus. Spring color starts with fall plantings of bulbs. Bulbs can be planted in large drifts, planted in perennial beds, under spring flowering trees or naturalized in your lawn. Bulbs can also be added to containers and forced for use inside your home or outside in your garden for a burst of spring color. When purchasing bulbs, select bulbs that have different bloom times to keep the garden blooming for a longer period of time. Make sure that the bulbs you select are fresh and hard and not soft or dried out.

When planting bulbs, wait till the soil temperature is below 60 (F) degrees. Spring flowering bulbs require a period of winter cold for blooming. Make sure that your bulbs have good drainage with a pH between 6 and 7. If you are planting drifts of bulbs, the following guide will help determine the number of bulbs per square foot that you will need to achieve the look that you want.
Daffodils - 3 to 4 bulbs per square foot
Tulips - 5 bulbs per square foot
Hyacinths - 5 bulbs per square foot
Crocus - 15 bulbs per square foot
Miniature Tulips - 7 bulbs per square foot
Miniature Daffodils - 6 bulbs per square foot
Plant you bulbs at the recommended depth on the package. You can also add 2-3 inches of mulch over your planted bulbs to help protect the bulbs from the winter cold. The addition of bulb food will help your bulbs get off to a great start when spring arrives. If the season has been dry, as it has been in my zone 5 garden, you may want to water as needed.


If you live in an area where you have deer and rodents, remember that they will enjoy your Tulip and Crocus bulbs as their meal. Plant these bulbs close to your house or use special wire containers to protect your bulbs. You might just want to consider planting bulbs like Hyacinths and Daffodils instead. If you have not started planning or planting your spring garden yet, get started now while bulbs are fresh and the selections are still good in the stores.
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

2 comments:

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Great bulb planting tips.

Anonymous said...

I adore what you have done with your bulbs, I just planted my first 20 and am addicted allready!