Nothing breaks us out of our drab winter garden blues like that first yellow crocus bloom
peeking out of the snow; and nothing says spring like a big bouquet of blooming tulips and
In order to enjoy these rites of spring, gardeners have to prepare now by planting fall bulbs.
Fall is a great time of year to work in the garden and planting bulbs is one of its most rewarding
activities. Bulbs should be purchased anytime from now until late October or early
November and can be planted as long as the ground is not frozen. Try not to get over-eager. Bulbs planted too early in warm weather may sprout up early. Wait for consistently cool temps
to put your bulbs in the ground.
When choosing your bulbs, make sure to feel each one to see that it is firm. Soft or mushy bulbs
are rotted and will not produce flowers. Also, choose an assortment of bulbs that will give you
the longest bloom. Start with crocus for early blooms, add some tulips, daffodils and hyacinths
for mid to late spring blooming. This will give you color for months.
When your get you bulbs home, choose a sunny area and prepare the soil. Clay soils should be
amended with compost. Plant each bulb according to the instructions. A good rule of thumb is to
plant the bulb 2-3 times deeper than its height. For example: a 2" tall bulb should be planted 4-6"
deep in the soil. If you are planting many bulbs a bulb planting tool or auger is much faster and
easier. Make sure to pick up some Scotts Bulb Food and Miracle Gro Organic Choice
Bonemeal. Put a small handful in each hole that you dug for the bulbs.
Wallace's recommends planting bulbs in groups or bouquets. To do this, plant 5-7 of one kind of
bulb in a large hole. When they come up in the spring they will have a much bigger color impact
and will look more natural in the landscape.
After placing the bulbs in the hole, cover with soil and top-dress the area with Scotts Bulb Food.
Wallace's also recommends using Bonide Bulb Saver on your bulbs. This will keep away mice,
moles, rot and decay.
Fall bulbs are an easy way to get great spring color and inspiration in the garden. Use the
descriptions below to pick out your favorites.