|Thursday Tips: Spring Flowering Bulbs|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 06 October 2011|
Itís autumn and time to plan ahead for beautiful blooms (like these gorgeous daffodils) next spring by planting spring flowering bulbs right now. Spring flowering bulbs are bulbs that bloom between February and April and include tulips, daffodils, narcissus, crocus, hyacinth, and the tiny delicate snowdrops (stay tuned for Fridayís edition of The Daily Dirt for more diminutive spring bulbs).
What to look for: Choose large bulbs that are firm and have some heft to them. They shouldnít feel light or look too papery or dried out. Avoid bulbs that are moldy, have soft spots, or are already sprouting.
When to Plant: Now! Spring flowering bulbs should be planted before the soil reaches a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, generally before the middle or end of October so they can establish a decent root system before the ground freezes.
Where to plant: Most bulbs prefer sunny locations, but some woodland bulbs like hyacinths will tolerate a little shade. They need well-drained soil so the bulbs donít rot, so avoid low spots. If drainage is a problem, consider planting bulbs in containers (try bulb lasagna) or in raised beds.
How to plant: Different bulbs are planted at different depths so the easiest advice is to follow the directions on the package.
Tools & Accessories: For a small number of bulbs a regular trowel is usually sufficient. For larger quantities Iíd recommend a bulb planter. And donít forget that some critters like squirrels like to eat bulbs, especially tulips so if there are squirrels in your yard or neighborhood consider using chicken wire or bulb cages to protect your bulbs.