Fall Gardening – Planting Bulbs in the Fall for Amazing Spring Flowers. Planting bulbs in the fall is honestly not one of my favorite things to do, and I’m usually out there cursing myself for buying so many. BUT, come spring I’m so happy I went to the toil and trouble to plant them. After a long Minnesota winter, there’s nothing I like better than to see those bits of green popping up through the soil and sometimes snow. And, then the resulting bright, cheery and amazing spring flowers.
These are the bulbs that I will be planting this fall: daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth, glory-of-the-snow, allium, crocus, wood hyacinth, fritillaria, lilies, hyacinth and anemone. I also have a bunch more coming that I ordered online, including both Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies, plus some others that I’ve forgotten. Yep, I’ll be cursing myself when I have to plant all these.
Make sure the temps are below 60 before you plant bulbs, but before the ground freezes. Last year, I got in a hurry and planted bulbs too soon and they started coming up a few weeks later when we got a warm spell. This spring when they were supposed to come up, they did not. Fortunately, I had ordered from a reputable company and they replaced the bulbs.
There are so many bulb planting gadgets, but I just use my trusty, “halfsie” shovel (like this one), as my hubby calls it. I like a bunch of flowers together, not one flower and then six inches down the line another one. So here’s what I do; first, I rake back the mulch from the area where I’m going to dig. Next, I dig a hole as deep as the instructions on the package call for, and big enough to hold anywhere from 8 – 12 bulbs. If the soil isn’t the greatest, I will add in some compost and sometimes a little bulb fertilizer. Then I dump in the bulbs. I space the bulbs out a bit leaving a little room in between and make sure the bulbs are turned right side up. If I’m planting different colors or different varieties, I will alternate the respective bulbs. Then I fill the hole back up, pack it down and spread the mulch back over it.
So far, knock-on-wood, I haven’t had a problem with critters digging up my bulbs. If you do, here are a few things you can try. There are granular products you can buy that supposedly repel the critters. I’ve also seen tutorials on Pinterest for planting your bulbs in critter proof cages made from chicken wire. You can find a few ideas here and here. I will also plant daffodils in the same hole as my tulips because critters don’t like daffodil bulbs. They also will not mess with fritillaria bulbs, and if you ever smell those you’ll understand why.
I tried to keep these instructions pretty simple, so anyone could follow them. Those of you that have never planted bulbs in the fall, I would encourage you to give it a try this year. Start with something easy like daffodils and don’t go overboard like I do. What bulbs are you going to plant this fall? Do you have a favorite spring flower?
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