12 Tips for Planting Flowering Bulbs

Planting bulbs within the fall is a superb backyard process. At this level within the season, there may be not lots of work to be finished until you’re getting a soar begin on a fall clean-up. Including bulbs to your backyard now could be a surefire approach so as to add magnificence to your springtime flower beds. 

Spring flowering bulbs have to be planted within the fall or winter, relying on the place you reside. It is because they want to spend so much of time in cooler temperatures to bloom correctly. 

Use these 12 ideas to assist get your self organized earlier than planting. After studying this text, you’ll have the information wanted to really feel assured about planting your bulbs. When you’re prepared, let’s dig in!

Tip 1: Make a Plan

Plan your bulb planting by deciding which varieties you need, the place to plant them, and what number of you want.

Earlier than you store, take a while to plan out what bulbs you wish to plant, the place you’ll plant them, and what number of you’ll need. This planning can prevent money and time in your bulb-planting journey.  

Measure your backyard area size by width to search out the realm. Subsequent, use a bulb calculator to find out what number of bulbs you want to your area. You’ll be able to google the bulb calculator to search out this easy-to-use instrument, or you are able to do some math and confer with the bundle to make sure you have sufficient.

Spacing will differ relying on what sort of bulb you’re planting. For instance, daffodils will be planted additional aside as a result of they have an inclination to naturalize. This implies they are going to come again yr after yr whereas additionally producing new child bulbs that develop off of the unique bulb. However, tulips will be planted nearer collectively as a result of you’ll possible pull the entire bulb on the finish of its season since they don’t return nicely. 

Utilizing all of this data will show you how to determine what number of bulbs to purchase, in addition to how a lot work you’ve mendacity forward for you. 

Tip 2: Select Excessive-High quality Bulbs

Close-up of a gardener's hands holding many tulip bulbs in the garden, against a blurred green background. The bulbs are medium size, bulb-shaped, with a papery outer layer. They have pointed tips at the tops and rounded bases at the bottoms.
Wholesome bulbs ought to really feel agency, whereas softness might point out age or an infection.

Once I say “high-quality,” I don’t essentially imply the costliest. It means you’re buying bulbs which can be in good well being. They’re usually discounted within the low season. 

  • Earlier than buying or planting, verify for any indicators of mould or fungus on the surface of the bulb. 
  • Wholesome bulbs will really feel agency to the contact. Softness could possibly be a clue that the bulb is outdated or that it could possibly be affected by some an infection contained in the bulb. 
  • The bulb must be proportionally heavy to its dimension. Because it begins to die, it loses density and turns into lighter. 

Tip 3: Chill Your Bulbs

Daffodil bulbs and tulip bulbs close up, on a table covered with burlap. Daffodil bulbs are ovoid or teardrop-shaped with a papery brown outer layer. Tulip bulbs are round in shape, with a brown papery outer layer and pointed tops.
Relying in your location, you would possibly want to position them within the fridge for about three months.

Relying on the place you reside, you might want to sit back your bulbs within the fridge or buy pre-chilled bulbs within the springtime. 

These crops should expertise chilly temperatures (beneath 40 levels) for about three months. When you don’t expertise these cool temperatures, it’s essential to chill your bulbs. I’m you, zones 8-10! These that aren’t chilled will develop however not bloom as you anticipate. The flowers could also be deformed or stunted. 

Fortunately, that is as straightforward as sticking your bulbs within the fridges in a paper bag or within the mesh bag they got here in. Preserve them away out of your vegetable drawer. The ethylene gasses the veggies emit can harm them. 

Tip 4: Plant in Full Solar 

Close-up of a gardener's hand planting bulbs of flowering plants into the soil under full sun. The soil is dry, loose, gray-black. The bulbs are small, round in shape, covered with a dark brown papery husk.
They often thrive in full solar, which suggests a minimum of 6 hours of direct daylight.

With a number of exceptions, bulbs like to develop in full solar situations. This quantities to about 6 hours or extra of direct daylight. Nonetheless, dappled solar within the afternoon will be useful in some areas. 

Plant in a raised mattress when you would not have a large enough patch in your backyard with full solar. Raised beds are additionally nice when you have clay soil or soil that holds on to an excessive amount of moisture, which might result in rotting. 

When you would not have a lot solar in any respect and are in search of bulbs to develop within the shade, listed below are a number of choices:

  • Allium
  • Crocus
  • Daffodils (some varieties do higher in full solar)
  • Fritillaria
  • Hyacinth
  • Scilla
  • Snow Drops

 Tip 5: Plant on the Proper Time 

Close-up of gardener's hands holding daffodil bulbs before planting in the ground. The bulbs are oval-shaped, covered with a brown-orange papery husk and have sprouted shoots on the pointed tips. The gardener's nails are painted red.
Plant when temperatures cool to 40-50 levels at evening, however the timing relies on your native local weather.

Plant when the climate begins to chill. The aim right here is nighttime temperatures between 40 and 50 levels. The time to plant your bulbs will differ significantly relying on the place you reside and what your local weather is like.

In case you are ordering from a web-based bulb provider, they won’t ship till an applicable planting time for the place you reside. So useful! 

Planting occasions by zone:

Zone Estimated Planting Time
Zone 1-2 Early September
Zone 3 Mid-September
Zone 4-5 Late September to Early October
Zone 6 Mid-October
Zone 7-8 Early November
Zone 9 Early December
Zone 10 Mid-December
Zone 11 Late December

Tip 6: Put together Your Soil

Close-up of a gardener's hands holding a handful of fresh black soil against a background of freshly planted tulip bulbs. There is also a paper bag on the soil from which tulip bulbs are poured out for planting. The bulbs are medium in size, round in shape, with pointed tips. They are white, covered with a brown papery husk. The gardener is wearing a bright yellow sweater.
Put together your soil by including compost and tilling it collectively.

Getting ready your soil earlier than you dig your holes is necessary. This can be a nice time so as to add compost. Dump the compost on high of the realm the place you’ll plant. When you can, until the soil and compost collectively. This can loosen the soil to make digging simpler whereas incorporating the wealthy vitamins from the compost. 

This can be a nice time to speak about fertilizer. You do not want so as to add bulb fertilizer in case your soil is wholesome and fertile. When you concern your soil may use some love, seize a soil take a look at equipment and discover out. 

There are lots of merchandise available on the market which can be particularly made for this objective. After all, they may also help present vitamins to your soil when you want them. The draw back to fertilizer is that many bulb fertilizers have blood and/or bone meal as the primary components, and the scent of those components can entice critters. 

Close-up of gardener's hands planting flowering plants with bulb planter, in the garden. The gardener is wearing blue jeans and blue and white gloves. Three bulbs of flowering plants are planted in the soil, and a paper bag full of bulbs lies nearby in the garden bed. Freshly planted bulbs are large, oval in shape, with slightly pointed tips, from which young shoots grow. The paper bag contains many small oval-shaped bulbs with purple papery skins. A bulb planter is a garden tool that consists of a long, cylindrical metal tube with a sharpened end and a handle at the top.
Bulb planters are an choice, with measurement markings for gap depth.

This may occasionally seem to be an odd tip, however it may be helpful. Each planting state of affairs is completely different, and a few soil sorts will be tough to plant in. Listed here are a number of instruments that may make this process a bit simpler:

  • Hori Hori knives are one of many handiest backyard instruments and one among my favourite instruments to make use of. The knives are helpful for planting bulbs if you’re planting in an space that has some fibrous roots from close by crops. Most hori hori knives have measurements that will help you dig a deep gap. 
  • Planting augers are very helpful instruments if you’re planting lots of bulbs. These augers connect to your energy drill and dig completely uniform holes. These instruments can save your again lots of aches and pains. Drill down into your soil till you’ve reached the suitable depth. Drill a brand new gap each few inches, relying on what you’re planting. After drilling all of your holes, place bulbs in every gap. Lastly, cowl the holes with the dug-up soil and calmly stroll throughout the realm to compact the soil into place. 
  • Trowels or cultivators are wonderful for prepping the realm and digging holes, particularly for smaller bulbs. These instruments can manipulate soil as you want them to, making small or bigger holes with ease. 
  • I discovered easy methods to plant as a baby utilizing a bulb planter. These instruments are fairly helpful, though there are extra handy choices now. Merely plunge the planter into the soil. Use the measurement markings on the facet to find out how deep your gap is, and pull the soil out. Place the bulb within the gap and exchange the soil. Repeat. 

Tip 8: Plant on the Proper Depth 

Close-up of gardener's hands planting flowering plants in the garden. The gardener is wearing blue jeans and blue and white gloves. She sits on a green rectangular piece of foam. She plants grey-white oval bulbs with pointed tips from which shoots grow. In a paper bag lying nearby there are many small purple bulbs. There is also a bulb planter nearby.
Plant at a depth of thrice their top for frost safety and critter deterrence.

There’s a basic rule concerning planting: plant your bulb thrice as deep because the bulb is tall. The depth will change relying on what sort of bulb you develop and the place you’re rising it. Planting depth is necessary as a result of it may stop the bulbs from freezing. It will possibly additionally assist hold critters from digging them out of the bottom. 

Common Planting Depths: 

Bulb Sort Planting Depth
Allium 6 inches
Crocus 3 inches 
Daffodil 6 inches 
Tulip 6 inches

You’ll be able to eyeball these measurements, or if you’re utilizing a hori hori knife, you will be exact and use the depth markers on the knife. 

Please keep in mind that these are simply common planting depths, and so they may differ between completely different bulb species. You need to all the time reference the bundle’s planting instructions. 

Tip 9: Plant Pointy Facet Up 

Autumn planting of tulip bulbs. Close-up of a gardener's hands planting tulip bulbs with the pointed side facing up. The bulbs are round in shape, with pointed tips and flat bottoms. They are covered with a papery brown-orange husk.
Plant with the sharp facet up for higher root contact, straighter stems, and stronger progress.

This may occasionally appear foolish, however it may assist your bulbs to develop straight and powerful. Bulbs are superb plant powerhouses and include every thing the plant wants inside a tiny little bundle. From the bulb will develop roots, foliage, stems, and naturally, gorgeous blossoms.

If you find yourself a bulb, it’s straightforward to inform which facet is pointy and which facet is extra rounded. The rounded facet, or the underside, is the part of the bulb that may produce roots for the plant. The sharp facet is the place the stems, leaves, and flowers will come from.

Planting the bulb upright with the sharp facet up will permit it to make higher contact with the soil for its roots. It’ll additionally give the foliage, stems, and flowers the simplest route out of the soil. This can end in straighter stems and a stronger blossom. 

Tip 10: Use Mulch 

Close-up of a gardener's hands in white gloves showing bark mulch in the garden. Bark mulch is a garden material made from shredded or chipped tree bark. It appears as small pieces or chunks of various sizes and are dark brown.
After planting, add mulch to manage weeds, retain water, and preserve constant soil temperatures for even blooming.

Now that you’ve got all of your bulbs planted, think about including a layer of mulch to your backyard. Mulch is nice at repelling weeds and retaining water. It is usually a grasp of temperature management.

Mulching will assist to maintain the soil temperatures constantly cool all through the winter. This can assist to make sure that your bulbs bloom on the identical time. It’ll additionally stop them from blooming too early if the soil warms from the winter solar. 

Tip 11: Water After Planting 

Close-up of watering freshly planted tulip bulbs from a large gray-green watering can in a sunny garden. The bulbs are medium-sized, round in shape, with pointed tips on top. They are covered in a dark brown papery husk. The watering can has a white spray nozzle.
Water your newly planted bulbs as soon as after planting, however keep away from overwatering.

After getting completed planting, give the realm an intensive watering. This can assist all of the filth settle across the bulb whereas additionally giving the bulbs a bit drink.

You do not need to make watering your bulbs a daily behavior. Snow and rain from the winter will give them what they want when it comes to water. An excessive amount of water can trigger the bulb to rot, so it’s best to go away this process to Mom Nature till springtime arrives. At that time, water as soon as per week until it’s wet. 

Tip 12: Defend Your Bulbs 

Close-up of a large green spray bottle with repellent near blooming Hyacinth and daffodils in a sunny garden. Hyacinths are spring-blooming bulbous plants known for their striking appearance. They feature tall, dense spikes of small, fragrant, and densely-packed flowers of bright pink color. Hyacinth leaves are strap-like, growing from the base of the plant, and they are bright green in color. Daffodils, also known as Narcissus, are distinctive spring-blooming flowers. They boast a central trumpet-shaped corona surrounded by six petal-like tepals, creating an iconic flower shape. The flowers are bright yellow.
Defend your bulbs from critters by planting deer-resistant varieties, utilizing netting, and making use of animal repellents.

When you have grown bulbs earlier than, you in all probability know they’re a favourite snack of critters. They like to dig up the bulbs and carry them off for a pleasant little meal. Fortunately, there are some things you are able to do when you wrestle with wildlife in your gardens.

  • Plant deer or critter-proof bulbs equivalent to daffodils, grape hyacinth, crocus, or snowdrops. 
  • Cowl the realm you’ve planted with deer or different sort of netting. If you don’t mulch your space, cowl it with leaves earlier than mendacity the netting down. Gently safe the netting with stakes. This can make it tougher for animals to take away the bulbs out of your backyard. 
  • As soon as leaves emerge, you may spray them with deer-off or your favourite animal repellent. Animals that may not sometimes go for bulb foliage will eat something early within the spring if they’re hungry. These sprays have to be reapplied each 1-2 weeks or after rain. 

Ultimate Ideas

The following tips will set you on the best path to having a wonderful backyard filled with spring-blooming bulbs. Bulbs are superb and can usually bloom with out a lot assist from us gardeners. Nonetheless, doing a bit work whereas planting could make their surroundings much more conducive for good blooming bulbs. These above ideas are basic, and planting and rising situations can change relying on the place you reside and the way you propose to develop your bulbs. Use my ideas as a beginning guideline, and develop from there! Glad planting!

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