Autumn is such a busy time of year. Between the beginning of school, Halloween, baseball playoffs and football games, not to mention gearing up for the holidays, It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement of fall activities and social events. But fall is one of the most important times to think about your spring garden! If you want spring colors to chase away the winter blahs (and who isn’t dreaming of that by March?!) you need to plant your spring bulbs now.
Things to Know Before You Plant
Bulbs like tulips and daffodils need to be planted in the fall, before the ground freezes. You want to aim for about six weeks before the ground freezes, when evening temps average between 40 and 50 degrees. But the sooner the better! Why, you ask? The long, cold months that we humans dread are the perfect incubation period for these beautiful flowers — the cold temps initiate a biochemical process in the bulbs that is necessary for them to flower.
Thankfully, tulips and daffodils do well in both sun and shade. And remember that your spring garden will have more sun than your fall garden because most of the trees won’t have any leaves. The one thing to avoid is any spot in your garden that collects water — the bulbs need a well-drained spot.
How to Plant Bulbs
How to plant your bulbs will depend on the variety you choose. But thankfully, it’s just about as easy as following the directions on the package label! Start by loosening your soil. You may want to add some compost or soil with fertilizer if your soil lack nutrients. Then dig holes to the depth recommended on your label (usually between 5-8″ deep). We like using a special bulb planter for this. Many, like this one, have markings to show you the depth as you dig. There are also special augurs available that can attach to your drill to make digging even easier. Next, plant the bulb top-side up and root-side down. It’s usually pretty easy to tell which side is which, but if you’re doubting yourself, plant it sideways. Finally, cover the holes, loosely pat the dirt on top, and then water the area once. You won’t need to continue to water the plants after this initial watering. After this, it’s just a waiting game!
We can’t close out this post without a few photos of some of our favorite spring bulb displays. The promise of these colorful spring flowers will get us through the long winter months!