Plant Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms

Allium is always a bargain, offering both fresh flowers and beautiful everlastings.

Allium is always a bargain, offering both fresh flowers and beautiful everlastings.

Fall is a great time for planting trees, wildflower seeds, and especially flower bulbs. Bulbs planted in the fall have more time to lay down roots and make themselves at home in your garden soil, which allows them to bloom earlier and stronger their very first spring.

Just remember a few super-easy tips to help you make the most of your fall planting experience:

The Widger helps you plant small bulbs in a wink of an eye.

The Widger helps you plant small bulbs in a wink of an eye.

Soil Quality

Soil quality is critical, because soil that stays too wet will cause most bulbs to rot very quickly. Well-drained soil is best—amend dense clay soils with rich organic materials like peat, sphagnum, or compost. A near neutral to very slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is best for most bulbs.

Planting Time

Plant after the first frost, but don’t wait too late. You want to allow your bulbs to start establishing a good root system before hard winter. Mail-order bulbs usually must be planted immediately. You may have to store nursery bulbs for a while, until planting time, because we all like to buy early to make sure we get the best bulbs.

Bulbs fit very nicely among perennials and others. These fritillaries really show off among the hardy ferns!

Bulbs play nicely with perennials. These fritillaries show off among the hardy ferns!

Planting Depth

Depth is crucial when planting bulbs, and always plant pointy end up. Plant them 3-4 times as deep as the height of the bulb—for larger bulbs, no more than about 8 inches up to about 3 inches for smaller bulbs. Add a complete slow-release fertilizer before replacing soil and, if conditions are dry, add plenty of water.

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2 Comments

  • Summer says:

    Can I start perinneal seeds in the early Fall inside?

  • Summer says:

    Our neighbors just cut down their Poplar trees and we have shoots coming up everywhere in our yard. I keep pulling them up and trying to get as much of the root as possible, but they are everywhere. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them other than what I’m already doing?

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