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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 flower beds, 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’s, tulips, alliums and daffodils add such bright spots of color in 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!
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 our beds. 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 get ready for a colorful spring.
PREP YOUR BEDS
To begin, look for areas in your flowerbeds that have empty spots. 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, over the years, they will multiply. 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.
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.
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.
It is important you do not 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° 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.
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 will see your first bloom!
Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]