You may have thought that once the cool weather arrives, your gardening work is over. Not so fast! Fall is the time to start thinking about planting certain bulbs for the spring. Here are some tips from the experts to start preparing your garden for spring bloom!
Choose the Right Varieties
Certain spring flowering plant bulb varieties must be planted in the fall; they actually require the dormant rest before spring blooming can take place. This includes hardy bulbs, such as tulips, crocus, snowdrops, hyacinths and daffodils. Some of these flowers are perennials that will come back year after year, like daffodils, while others are annuals, like tulips and will require you to plant new ones each year – so be sure to choose according to your desired maintenance plan.
Plant Before Temperatures Drop
These hardy bulb varieties actually grow their roots through the winter months, so you must set them up with a good soil bed to start. First, select a good location for them to grow – for most varieties, this is somewhere where they will get lots of access to sunlight and natural rain showers over the early spring months. Then, apply a layer of compost or other nutrient-rich soil into your garden before placing the bulbs in their winter resting place.
Plant More Bulbs Than You Expect to Bloom
It is always best to plant more bulbs than you expect to actually sprout up and bloom in the spring months. Sometimes a bulb will not germinate properly after dormancy, and doesn’t bloom with the rest of the patch. Sometimes you may lose some bulbs to the squirrels and other small animals around your home. So it’s best to be proactive and plant a few extra in each area you would like some colour come spring to avoid being left with an empty patch.
Apply Water and Fertilizer
Since these hardy fall bulbs begin to sprout their roots over the winter months, it is still important to water them following planting in order to start the growth process before winter arrives. Give the soil a good, thorough soak immediately following planting. You can also promote the growth process by applying a fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer in with the soil to make sure it has direct access to the bulbs.
Prevent Bulb Relocation
Squirrels, ground hogs and even cats and dogs can dig up and relocate your bulbs if they find them before winter arrives. This results in your beautiful tulips sprouting up in the middle of your backyard come May. If you have a particular problem with small animals foraging your bulbs, consider planting them in a caged-in area, constructed of chicken wire or another malleable, structured wire.