As autumn approaches, you don’t have to hang up your gardening gloves. Fall is one of the best times for blooming bulbs! By planting fall bulbs, you can provide your garden with much needed color that will last almost until the first snow. I also find fall to be one of the most pleasant times to work in the garden because the heat of summer has passed.
Fall bulbs are a smart investment for any home gardener since they bloom over and over again. Even when they are not growing and blooming, the bulbs are still there, readying themselves for the prime growing conditions of the next season.
1) Find the right location to plant them – Even though bulbs are very hardy, one of the most important considerations when planting them is to find a suitable location for them. This is because specific bulbs have their own requirements, and those requirements must be met in order for the bulbs to thrive.
2) Take special notice to the soil and available sunlight in the area where you plan to plant them – Bulbs always grow best in well drained soil, and when bulbs fail to grow, it is usually because they have rotted due to overly wet soil. Most bulb varieties grow best in full sunlight, so be sure your planting bed gets at least 6-8 hours of sun.
3) Prepare your soil and space out your bulbs properly – Many experienced gardeners prefer to excavate the area to a depth of 12 – 15″ and then lay down a layer of compost. After this layer is put down, the bulbs are spaced properly, then covered with either the original soil or with a good quality compost or potting soil.
4) Cut down on your time by using a bulb planter - Make 3 – 4″ wide holes and twist the bulb planter until the proper depth has been reached. Then remove the bulb planter and place the bulb. It is important to note that even though bulb planters are a real time saver for most gardeners, they do not perform well where the soil is rocky.
What Bulbs Are Best to Plant in the Fall?
The most popular types of bulbs to plant in the fall season are tulips, daffodils and crocus. In addition to these well known varieties, however, there are a number of other great choices, such as hyacinths, irises and alliums. These bulbs are all easy to grow and they bloom beautifully.
Another popular fall bulb is chionodoxa. Its earliest blooms are only a few inches in height, but you will find that as the plant matures, its blooms become much larger. Chionodoxa are also resistant to deer, making them a favored choice by many gardeners.