By Lori W.
If you are on a bulb catalog mailing list, you probably have received several catalogs by now. The beautifully photographed pictures will entice you into compulsive shopping, and when the bulbs start blooming next spring, you’ll be reminded why you over indulged. After a long dreary winter, spring blooming bulbs jump-start your gardening desires.
Buy the best bulbs you can afford. You get what you pay for. The bargain bulbs will produce a flower for you, but if you spend a little extra for the better quality bulbs, your blooms will be much larger and more impressive.
Some bulb variety suggestions are tulips, daffodils, crocus, and even lilies.
Purchase your bulbs in September, and when the soil starts cooling down you’ll have a couple of months to get them in the ground. Order your bulbs from a reputable bulb catalog.
Choose a full to part sun location. Even though most areas are sunny in the spring until the leaves fill out, the remaining foliage on bulb plants need bright light to feed the plants for the following year. The rule of thumb for planting depth is 2 times the height of the bulb. Most bulb companies send free planting instructions with each order.
It is always good to fertilize at planting time to give the bulb that extra boost. To encourage the most beautiful blooms mix a 5-10-5 fertilizer or a small amount of bone meal in the soil below the bulb. Place the bulb on the soil with the pointed end up and cover with soil. Every spring top dress the soil around the new bulb shoots with an all purpose garden fertilizer.
Rodents and other critters don’t usually bother daffodils, but other bulbs may be attacked. Try placing chicken wire above and below the bulb or group of bulbs to keep the pests away from the bulbs.
One single flower or a straight row of single flowers may not be as impressive as a mass planting. A large group of bulbs planted together produces an eye catching garden. Try mixing different varieties of the same bulb type to produce successive blooms and also add texture variations.
Fall planted bulbs will bring years of spring blooming flowers with very little care.