Your Guide to Planting Bulbs in the Fall

It’s never too early to start getting ready for spring! In fact, fall is one of the best times to plant spring-blooming flower bulbs, as many bulbs need a cold dormant period before they can grow and bloom. Flower bulbs are a popular choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike. The majority of them require very little upkeep, and they produce fantastic displays throughout the spring and summer.

So, before you settle in for your long winter’s nap, prepare your garden for a burst of color when the following spring rolls around.

Choose Flower Bulbs to Plant in the Fall

Chances are you’ll have no trouble finding bulbs to plant this fall, and your local garden center is probably bursting with them. The hardest part for most landscapers? Choosing which flowers to plant.

Obviously, you should choose fall bulbs that produce blooms you personally find attractive. Since these flowers come in a multitude of colors, select colors that complement each other, your home, and the rest of your landscape.

Some of the classic and most popular bulbs for fall planting include tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths. Nearly any spring-blooming flower bulb can be planted in the fall, however, and you should never feel limited to these choices alone. As long as a flower bulb will do well in your climate, then by all means – plant away!

Prepare to Plant Your Fall Flower Bulbs

Before you purchase your bulbs, decide where they will go first. You don’t necessarily need to have a designated flower garden in which to plant bulbs. For instance, you can plant bulbs in front of your porch, at the corners of your home, along your sidewalk, around a tree, or even in random clusters around your yard. Make sure the area you choose will receive at least six hours of sunlight each day in both the spring and summer.

Wherever you decide to plant your bulbs in the fall, work the soil well before the first frost. Opt for either a tiller or a double digger. Remove rocks, twigs, weeds, and other debris. When you’re done, the soil should appear loose with very few clumps.

The soil where you plant your bulbs in the fall should also drain well. If it retains too much moisture, it could encourage bulb-rot and fungus.

Planting Time!

Once you buy your spring-blooming bulbs, it’s important to get them into the ground as soon as possible. Plant spring-blooming flower bulbs early enough to allow them to establish roots before winter sets in. Don’t make the mistake of buying them too late. Plant your bulbs roughly a month before the first expected frost.

The depth your bulbs should be planted is usually marked on the package. However, you should plant the majority of bulbs between three and six inches deep. Always put bulbs into the ground with the pointed end facing up. Although it’s only necessary in the coldest climates, you can also spread several inches of mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are planted. This will help retain moisture and protect them from the harsh winter temperatures.

Take the right steps when planting flower bulbs in the fall, and in the spring, your landscaping will have the burst of color you longed for during those cold winter months.