How to Grow Fall Bulbs
Armed with a bulb planter, your favorite bulbs, and some bulb fertilizer,
planting fall bulbs is easy and fun. There's just one problem: you have to
wait all winter long to see the flowers that you cherish so much each spring.
The wait is well worth it, as they cause your spirits to soar once the snow
melts and blooming begins. And, they bring a profusion of color back to your
yards and gardens.
In general, planting should be done four to six weeks before the first frost
in your area. But, if you missed this window, don't worry. Fall planted bulbs
are forgiving. So go ahead and plant them
Step by step planting - it's easy! :
1. Prepare the flower bed- Pull and remove all weeds from the
area. Then, turn the soil over, breaking up clumps of soil and loosening
the soil well. Remove all rocks that you find. If this is a new flower
bed, it is a great time to add peat moss, especially if the soil is a hard
clay. If you are working in a low or wet area, bring in a little extra soil,
to slightly elevate the flowerbed to improve drainage.
2. Select a planting pattern for your bulbs- After selecting
the bulbs you want to plant and grow, you need to decide how you want to
arrange them. You can mix and match, displaying your creativity. Before you
dig, mark the position of each bulb. Using a sticks as markers works
well, to assure proper spacing and design.
3. Dig the hole- If you have a bulb planter or loose soil, this job
is a snap. Each type of bulb has a desired depth range. Plant them too deep,
and they can't break through to the surface in the spring. Plant them too
shallow, and they freeze and die. In general, plant bulbs to a depth that
is twice the diameter of the bulb.
4. Place the bulb in the hole- For new growers... the root side goes
down, and the pointed side up. You can't imagine how many new growers ask
this question, so you are in good company.
5. Slightly cover the bulb with soil. Then add fertilizer. Fertilizer
specifically formulated for bulbs is best. Follow the directions on the box
for the proper amount to use. Then, cover the bulb the rest of the way with
more garden soil.
6. Add a thin layer of mulch, if desired. Do not use heavy bark. If
you apply mulch thickly, you may need to remove some in the spring, to allow
the bulbs to pop through. We do not recommend mulch for more delicate bulbs,
7. Wait and wait and wait- Now the long, winter wait begins. There
is nothing you need to do between now and spring. So, grab a cup of hot
chocolate, and curl up on an easy chair by the fireside.
Tip: If your area is experiencing a long and cold winter, you may
need to add mulch or some type of covering, to keep the ground from freezing
too deeply. Almost anything will do. While it is best to do this before the
snow flies, you can do it anytime. Even in the midst of winter and in the
middle of a cold snap.
Important: After your flowers have died in the spring, it is important
that you do not immediately pull them up or cut off the leaves. For a few
weeks after flowering, the leaves are sending food(energy) to the bulb for
storage and use next spring. There is not a lot of excess food storage. So,
the leaves need as much time as possible to be productive.
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