While the sudden onset of chillier weather may make the sunny springtime feel quite distant, having beautiful flowering plants come April actually requires planting bulbs now. Spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, lilies, or tulips should be required before the ground freezes. Here are a few tips to make planting easier. Come spring, you’ll be glad you did!
In the fall, bulbs are relatively easy to find. But you shouldn’t purchase just any bulb. If you’re doing your own planting, be sure to purchase bulbs from a reputable nursery or garden center. Many catalogs also offer bulb sales. If you’re shopping locally, aim to stay away from bulbs that look bruised or cut. You can give the bulb a gentle squeeze just to make sure you’re avoiding one that is soft and may already contain disease. You may want to purchase more bulbs than you actually envision actually growing in your space to make up for any that fail to sprout.
Time to Plant
Bulbs should be planted soon after being purchased or received. When it’s time to plant, seek out a site that receives a lot of sun. Bulbs also tend to grow best in well-drained and loose soil. If you have a harder clay soil—as many in our area do—prepare the site in advance by amending the soil with compost. A general rule of thumb is to plant bulbs approximately three times the width of it. The planting site should be well-watered after the bulbs are planted. Mulch can then be utilized to retain the moisture and discourage weed growth.
Come spring, when you’re enjoying your beautiful blooms, remember to perform some pruning to ensure their best health for future seasons. When the flowers have finished blooming, cut off the flower head but keep the green foliage intact. The bulbs will use the foliage to gather nutrients from the sun and store for the following seasons. Once the foliage has turned yellow or brown you can then cut them to ground level.
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