As we move toward fall, the greenery and blooms will start to go dormant. To prepare for plants next year, you’ll need to determine when you should plant each type of bulb.
There are three main groups for bulbs that represent different flowers: spring flowering, summer flowering and fall flowering. To ensure you are ready for new blooms for these bulbs, we’re sharing some best practices.
Bulb Success 101
There are some general guidelines about bulb planting that should help these bulbs become blooms. Before you plant, consider these best practices:
- Good drainage: this is key for bulb success; drainage is improved when you add gravel or stones near the bulb.
- Proper depth: when creating the hole for your bulb, dig to the depth recommended for each individual bulb. You can even add a few inches to be on the safe side.
- Add compost: if possible, a little bit of compost goes a long way to help the bulb thrive.
- Fertilize in the fall for any bulb, no matter when planted.
- Allow the bulb plant to die down on its own; don’t cut the green leaves.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs in the fall. It’s important to wait until then to begin planting the bulbs because these plants require a dormant period with colder temperatures, which stimulates root development and gives the bulb time to grow. This needs to occur before the first frost in your area, normally late September to mid-October.
Fall bulbs represent a second season of planting. Plus, you’ll enjoy the cooler weather for this hard labor. Less water is required as well. Bulb planting should occur when the ground is cool so early morning or early evening are the best times, as the sun is less powerful then.
When determining where to plant these bulbs, choose an area with good soil drainage. Avoid areas where water collects, like the bottom of an incline.
Here are some spring bloomers to plant this fall:
- Jonquils: one of the earliest bloomers
Other Seasonal Bulb Planting
While the bulb season is mostly represented as a fall scenario, there are bulbs that bloom later than spring, going into the summer and fall. Planting for these occurs in the spring and summer respectively.
This may be skewed by your area’s climate. If temperatures rise early in spring, then be sure to get your bulb planting complete in the earliest weeks of spring. Here are some tips on summer flowering bulbs and fall flowering bulbs.
Summer Flowering Bulbs
Get your summer flowering bulbs in the ground in the spring. These bulbs are very sensitive to lower temperatures. Spring-planted bulbs are often the showiest, most vivid flowering plants. These bulbs look great when plugged in with perennials for a fuller look. These summer flowers are also a great addition to containers on porches or decks.
Fall Flowering Bulbs
Late bloomers should be planted mid-summer. These bulbs should begin blooming weeks after the planting. You have a short window of time for these plants, so don’t let summer end before they are in the ground.
Bulb Planting Ideas
When planting bulbs this fall, consider how each plant that blooms will complement each other. Planting them in different patterns will offer different results. Here are some creative ideas:
- Cluster bulb planting: a single bulb or having too thin of a line won’t provide the results expected; in fact, it may diminish the look. Clusters bring the blooms closer together, delivering a more impactful visual.
- High-low bulb planting: if you are working with a variety of bulbs, keep ones that bloom at the same time together. One way to show off these blooms and create texture and layering in the landscape design is to plant bulbs in rows with higher to lower. If you use plants with different blooming periods, put the late bloomers out front so they can act as camouflage for the dying foliage of the other plant.
- Double-decker layering: this is another way to show off blooms and visuals. To layer, plant small blubs on top of larger bulbs. Use two flowers that bloom at the same time to get the full effect of this idea.
Beautiful Blooms Start with High-Quality Bulbs
You can implement all these best practices and still have bulbs that fail. That’s usually because of low quality. Any bulb that’s soft and mushy should be tossed. Also, bigger is better, as they should have greater blooms.
You can always find bulbs that meet and exceed these expectations at LandscapeHub. This online marketplace connects you with 100’s of suppliers. You’ll be able to order bulbs from many different suppliers at great prices. You can be assured of the quality, too.