Fall is a wonderful and beautiful time of year, with the tree leaves turning colors and the weather getting ever colder. However, for the gardeners among us, fall is still a very busy time of year, with the prepping of the garden plots and the pruning of the trees, and the planning and planting of the bulbs!
Gardeners truly are eternal optimists, as we labor to plant bulbs in the fall, letting them mature and grow through the long winter months, in order to bring forth their vibrant colors and sense of rebirth in the spring. Here are a few simple tips that may help when planting your bulbs this fall:
Design, Design, Design!!
Before planting anything, have a good design plan! In order to maximize the ‘wow factor’ and viewing impact in the spring, consider planting your bulbs in large clusters. Additionally, think about the height of the different flowers that will be blossoming in the spring and produce a lovely layered effect by planting rows of shorter flowers backed by taller more dominant flowers.
. You can also play with the bright colors that spring blossoms will bring – concentrations of one color can make a bold statement, while mixing a variety of colors can bring a whimsical look to your flower beds.
Plant your bulbs about 6 weeks before the ground ‘officially’ freezes. Generally, you are looking for the average evening temperatures to be approximately 40-50 degrees. While having the right temperature range for planting is important, it is also best to plant your bulbs as soon as your purchase them. The longer they sit without planting, the less likely they are to produce large healthy blossoms in the spring.
Make sure that you have good soil drainage! Bulbs are pretty easy to plant and require relatively little effort, but they are pretty particular about their soil drainage, or lack thereof. Bulbs do not like to be over watered, so before planting make sure that the drainage is sufficient.
Just like your vegetable garden plots, work the soil in order to loosen it a bit before planting. If there hasn’t been anything growing in the area where you would like to plant your bulbs, add some organic material to the soil in order to give the bulbs plenty of nutrients and support.