Autumn is right around the corner so what’s on my mind? Bulbs! Now is the time to plant the gift that keeps on giving…..BULBS!
Growing bulbs is an easy way to brighten up the garden with decorative and fragrant displays. Bulbs provide color when planted in containers, a mixed border, beneath trees or in grass bringing life to the more permanent plantings in the garden.
allium-bulb A bulb is any plant that stores its complete life cycle in an underground storage structure. When choosing bulbs think about the color and size of the blooms. Generally speaking, smaller bulbs produce flowers blooming earlier in the spring, like crocus or snowdrops. Larger bulbs, such as tulips, have larger blooms and produce later than smaller bulbs. When choosing bulbs make sure they are firm, clean and free of mold. The best time to plant bulbs is after a first frost. Information on the time to plant, color and height will be on the bulb package.
lily-bulb To begin planting bulbs, take into account the amount of light the bulb will need remembering that in early spring leaves aren’t on the trees yet giving areas of your yard or garden more sunlight. Make sure soil is well drained. After digging holes for the bulbs, add fertilizer before replacing the soil. Add plenty of water as you fill the hole back in mixing in organic material. Remember to check the bulb package for the correct depth and how far apart the bulbs should be planted. A rule of thumb is you can plant large bulbs 8 inches deep, and 6 inches apart and small bulbs 5 inches deep, 3 inches apart with all pointed ends up. Add 3 inches of mulch to retain moisture and protect the bulbs.
snowdrop-bulb The main bulb season is from early spring to early summer but many other bulbs flower outdoors or under cover at other times of the year. When most of the garden is dormant in winter early bulbs such as snowdrops, crocus or hyacinth remind us spring is on the way. Bulbs that flower in spring, summer or fall are often larger, and of more exotic shapes and colors than winter bulbs. Allium, anemone, daffodils, tulips, lilies, and dahlias are just some of the many choices you have to add color, shape and fragrance to your garden. .
crocus-bulb Don’t limit yourself to just planting bulbs outside. Growing bulbs indoors or “forcing” them, as you’re forcing them to do inside the house before their time, by tricking them into thinking its spring. The most popular is the paperwhite narcissus. These fragrant flowers need water and sunlight. To grow these bulbs indoors place bulbs in a shallow dish with pebbles. Let the bulbs stand on the flat side down in the pebbles. Add a little water, put in a sunny window, and you’ll start seeing green shoots after a couple of days.
Spring bulbs whether in a garden or indoors are refreshing to see after a long winter. With careful planning you will see your garden bursting in blooms for many years to come.