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Tuesday Tip – Spring Bulbs

Narcissus Photo Copyright Vincent de Groot under GNU License from WikipediaThere’s nothing that says spring might finally be here than the eruption of spring color from crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. The nice thing about them as well is that once you get them planted, they’ll come back every year and provide that burst of doldrum-busting color.

Also, planting spring bulbs doesn’t interfere with you later placing annuals in the same spots for summer-long color. Why’s that? Because bulbs are usually planted deeper – between 6 to 10 inches deep while annuals are planted much higher at 3 to 4 inches deep.

So how do you prepare for that spring color? Except for tulips and hyacinths, spring bulbs should be planted in the fall – September and October depending on where you are located. As a general rule, plant them well before any freeze. This will help them build strength and get established.

Dig a hole about 8 inches deep and about a foot around. Prepare the soil with nice compost and some bone meal. Work it into the ground so that about a foot deep of soil is nice and loose so the bulbs can take root. Also, make sure the area has good drainage. Bulbs generally do not like to sit in wet soil. Cover the bulbs with soil and some mulch to help retain moisture and provide some shelter against the cold. I generally plant in groups of 3 to 5 as odd numbers of objects are generally more pleasing to the eye.

For unexpected bursts of color, mix in bulbs beneath ground covers like ivy or pachysandra.

Come the spring you’ll be rewarded with beautiful color and scents. Hyacinths are amazing for a blast of fragrance in your garden!

Once the bulbs start to die back, you can plant your annuals for the rest of the summer!