Garden

Planting Spring Bulbs

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Written by Hope Penny

Planting Spring Bulbs

 

Here we are about to go into winter and all thoughts are on what we can plant now for the spring. As gardeners we are always dreaming about what we can plant now for the coming season.

In the fall it’s all about bulbs! Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus, Scilla, Snowdrops, Alliums, Garlic and more. These beauties can be planted now for spectacular colour all through spring and with so many different types of bulbs to plant, you can have a show of colour right thru to the end of spring and into the early summer.

Snowdrops are typically the earliest blooming bulbs to come up. They are small pure white bulbs that start poking their heads up in early January… a little bit of optimism when we are in the long dark stretch of winter. Crocus, tete-a-tete, bluebells, scilla and daffodils follow closely behind the snowdrops, heralding the coming spring.

For all the beauty that bulbs give us, they are surprisingly easy to grow. A sunny dry spot, some bone meal or EB Stone Bulb Food for good roots and food for the coming spring and space to take center stage and you are ready to go. Be sure to plant firm strong bulbs in October/November before the 1st frost.

Checking to see what time of the year the bulbs will flower is the best way to ensure a long show of colour. Most bulb packaging will say whether they are early, mid or late season bulbs, which is helpful when planning your garden. Also, be sure to check and see the height of your bulbs. Some bulbs range from 6” to 20”, so you are going to want to make sure they are in the correct spot in your garden.

For most bulbs, you want to make sure that they are in a nice dry sunny spot, often doing much better and giving more impact when planted in large groups rather than single soldiers :). This hold true for all bulbs, the impact is much greater when they are planted in groups. Darwin hybrid Tulip bulbs are more likely to repeat bloom and last longer. Although tulips are perennial, they sometimes tend to diminish with age, and do not do well in a wet spot. This will give you the opportunity to try various types and colours of bulbs and see which one is your favourite.

Another consideration for planting bulbs is whether or not you have deer in your garden. Daffodils and alliums contain a bitter poisonous substance called lycorine. Grape hyacinth, alliums and scilla all have a smell and flavor that mammals dislike, so if you have deer or rodents in your garden, these are good options. Tulips are like candy for deer…you might have your tulips all up one day, and nothing but the stems left the next! You can still have a beautiful show of colour with deer, just plant appropriately.

Be sure to tuck a few bulbs in your fall planters and enjoy the surprise that will greet you in the spring! Come see what we have at the nursery and get ready for an explosion of colour come spring!