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Tips for Planting Fall Bulbs

The end of September signifies that it is time to begin the Fall garden clean up.  It’s time to rake leaves and clean out flower beds.  It’s also time to trim trees and bushes, plant mums and lay  mulch in the beds.

As the weather continues to cool down, planting fall bulbs is at the front of my mind. My local nursery has a nice selection of bulbs that will bring life to my garden and beds in the Spring months.  Over the years I have learned to look for large plump bulbs because the they are more likely to bloom. I know to disregard the soft, mushy bulbs as they may rot.  Here are some additional tips for successfully planting Fall bulbs.

Be Selective Where You Plant  

It is important to plant your bulbs in an area where the soil drains properly and they will receive a lot of sunshine. Bulbs should not be planted where rain collects because they may rot.

Plant Bulbs At The Right Time 

Plant spring blooming bulbs at the end of September or mid October when the ground temperature has begun to cool.  Planting bulbs earlier than this means there is a potential for them to bloom  and die.

How To Plant A Bulb

When planting a bulb, be sure to dig the hole 2-3 times deeper than the bulb is tall.  Fill the hole with nutrient rich soil and compost, especially if the soil is clay.

Plant the bulb with the pointy end facing up. If there is no pointy end, then plant the end with the roots at the bottom of the hole and cover them with soil.

Plant small groups of bulbs together for the best visual appeal. Do not plant bulbs in a straight line. The design will not look natural.

Cover the planted area with mulch to protect the bulbs from being uncovered and eaten by squirrels and other bulb eating rodents.

Water Bulbs After Planting

It is important to water the bulbs well after planting. Watering the bulbs thoroughly will ensure there aren’t air pockets in the soil allowing the bulbs to dry out.