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Planting Garden Bulbs

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

The time of year is here, where your garden is sadly beginning to wind down. Were you happy with the amount of flowers you had blooming this growing season? If not, perhaps you should try planting some bulbs for some spring flowers that you can be pleased with.

If your bulbs are spring flowering (daffodil, tulip, allium) you will want to plant them in autumn before frosts. If they are summer flowering (lily, dahlia, iris) it's best to plant them in spring when the soil is warm. Many of these plants are perennial and will come back year after year once they are planted. Plants that aren't hardy, like a dahlia, may be dug back up in the fall to be planted again the next year.

The typical rule of thumb is to bury your bulbs about 2-3 times as deep as the length of the bulb. So if your bulb is 2 inches in diameter, you will want to bury it at least 4-6 inches deep. In cold weather climates, you can bury spring flowering bulbs slightly deeper to allow them a little extra time in case of a late freeze. Dig your hole a few inches deeper than you plan on planting, so you can add some compost to the bottom. Mix it up with your existing soil and then plant your bulbs with the pointy side up (if it has one).

Bulbs have been known to rot easily, so if you notice any squishy or darkened spots it may be best to toss those ones into the compost heap. For this reason you will want to make sure that your soil is well draining when you plant them.

Add a fine layer of mulch after planting and then just be patient. After the required amount of time, the bulbs will have grown roots and you will notice their emergence! Seeing the green tips is always a sign that spring is here, and for that we gardeners rejoice.

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