Table of Contents
  1. Pick your blooms.
  2. Prep your flowerbeds.

A few weeks ago, I implored you to think ahead to the spring: what things do you want to do in your garden when the snows melt? While there are still a few days left to work outside this fall, I am clearing out my flowerbeds, and cutting off the dead peonies and other plants. While finishing my outside yard work, I always take time to assess where I would like some color in the early spring before the plants come back to life. Crocus, tulips, alliums, and daffodils add such bright spots of color on those late gray winter days. They can also be used as beautiful spring arrangements on your Easter table or dinner party. Well, friends, this is the time when you need to plant the bulbs if you want to enjoy the color in the spring. But do not worry: I am here to remind you!

Hole in the soil with three bulbs planted before being covered up stay dormant during the winter.

Pick your blooms.

Start by browsing and buying a variety of bulbs. To stand out, choose unique flowers that not every neighbor will have. Burpee and Van Bourgondiens have a great selection for you to scour over and discover what you like. I love my local nurseries’ selections as well!

  • This year, I chose to add some amazing Parrot Tulips. With fiery colors and feathered tips, they are so striking in any yard.
  • I also had to add some more Alliums to my flowerbeds. The tall balls of lavender-colored flowers are unbelievably beautiful. And, as a bonus, they are deer-resistant!
  • The earliest bloomer is the Crocus. Many times, blooming when there is still snow on the ground, this flower appears at the perfect time to be reminded that spring is indeed coming!
  • I also procured some great, gigantic Double Daffodils that will stand out amongst the rest. Mix and match a variety of blooms you enjoy, and prepare for a colorful spring.

Prep your flowerbeds.

To begin with, look for empty spots in your flowerbeds. Ideally, you want areas that have some room to grow and will not become overgrown by surrounding plants. The great thing about bulbs is that they multiply over the years. After several seasons, you will be able to separate your plantings and cover more areas of your flowerbeds—such a cost-saver!

Space the holes for your bulbs approximately five to ten inches apart.

Two side by side pictures with holes being dug in a flowerbed with trowel in one of the holes.
Two holes dug in a flowerbed where new bulbs are going to be planted to sit dormant over the winter season.

When your holes have been dug, put a tablespoon of Bone Meal in each hole as fertilizer. Bone Meal is a slow-release mixture of coarsely ground bones used as an organic fertilizer for plants. It can be found at your local nursery or home improvement store.

Two side by side pictures with holes dug for springtime bulbs with hand holding white powder to fertilize the holes.

Usually, bulbs are planted four to six inches deep. I like to put about three bulbs of the same variety in a hole, so I get a full grouping in the spring.

Make sure to follow the planting instructions for each variety of bulbs you are planting.

Large hole dug in flowerbed sprinkled with white powder with three bulbs in the bottom of the hole before being covered with soil.

It is important not to plant the bulbs too early in the fall. As a measure of safety, make sure there have been several hard freezes so the bulbs will not start to grow until spring. A hard freeze occurs when the temperature is below 32°F at night.

After placing the bulbs in the hole, lightly place the dirt back, making sure not to press too hard. If there will be no rain in the near future, giving the bulbs some water is always a good idea.

Two side by side pictures with bulbs outside of soil and the other with soil freshly covering a hole with bulbs inside.

All that is left is the anticipation of the wonderful colors you will enjoy next year in early spring! After all this digging and planting in the cool, fall weather, you may be chilly. Go enjoy a cup of coffee, and look forward to spring when you see your first bloom!

Happy planting!

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. Can you please provide details on your plant room and what you do to keep things alive during freezing temperatures

  2. Hi, I love your site, and watch you on you tube as well. Love it all, recipies, decor, gardening, everything! Would love to know how to dry my herbs gor use all winter. I live in canada in manitoba so very frigid cold winters. Keep all your great ideas coming!!