Whether you have acres of land or are planting in pots, filling your garden with lovely bulbs that will bloom in the Spring and Summer will surely bring color and joy. Spring bulbs provide a brilliant display that requires little effort on your part. Family and guests will definitely love the vibrant flowers, especially if they are illuminated by LED bulbs at night, for a more dramatic look.
How to Plant Spring Bulbs
If you want a garden full of these beautiful plants, you’re in luck. Whether you’re planting tulips, crocus, snowdrops, daffodils, scillas, or hyacinths, here are a few guidelines on how to plant Spring bulbs properly and get the most out of them.
Select Quality Bulbs
Smart bulb planting begins with picking the best quality bulbs that your garden center has to offer. Choose the bulbs that are firm and plump. Stay away from bulbs that are soft, mushy, and have mold growing on them. When it comes to bulbs, bigger is better – the bigger the bulb, the bigger its bloom next Spring. Small bulbs, while less expensive, have fewer flowers. If you’re patient with them, they will mature in three to four years.
Choose the Right Location
When not planted in the right spot, even the best quality bulbs will fail. Most Spring bulbs will thrive if they are planted somewhere with full sun and soil that drains well. Make sure to stay away from areas where water gathers so you can prevent rotting.
Get the Right Timing
Make sure you plant the bulbs at the right time. This depends on when they will bloom. For example, Spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips should be planted from September to October, when the soil is cool. Summer bulbs, meanwhile, will benefit from being planted in the Spring, when all frost has thawed.
More likely than not, you won’t be able to tell which bulb is which, once you remove them from their respective packages. Until the time comes to plant them, keep your bulbs sorted and labeled in their own containers.
Prepare the Soil
Make your soil top-quality by removing weeds and rocks, breaking up any clumps, and improving the drainage. Mix in organic matter like peat moss or compost to make the soil nutrient-rich. You can also encourage root growth by mixing some bone meal at the bottom of the hole at planting time.
Planting depth depends on the size of the bulb. Before you dig, check the packaging for any planting instructions. Otherwise, make a hole that is three times the size of the bulb. For example, dig a six-inch deep hole to plant a two-inch-high bulb. Make sure to plant the bigger bulbs in the center.
Plant Right Side Up
Make sure you plant the bulb with its pointed side up and the roots down. The pointed end is the stem. However, if you can’t tell which side is pointed, don’t worry – sooner or later, the stem will find its own way. After planting, lightly press down on the soil. Then, water it well to help the bulbs settle in and close any air pockets. Cover with some mulch.
Weeds, aside from being unsightly, steal nutrients from the soil. They may also attract disease and insects. Prevent weeds from becoming an issue by spreading a couple of inches of mulch over the soil.
Keep Critters Out
Small critters such as squirrels and mice love digging up and eating freshly planted bulbs. You can prevent this by laying wire mesh over the planted bulbs. It should be safe to remove the wire after the bulbs sprout from the soil.
Top Tips to Maximize the Impact of Your Bulb Display
Bulbs look best when they’re clustered. Concentrate the color in small spaces by grouping one or two varieties together. This will create maximum impact and take people’s breath away. Simplicity is key for a stunning bulb display.
You can mix bright colors for a fun, adventurous feel or pick a variety of muted pastel shades for something more subtle and elegant. The main rule of thumb is to either contrast or complement. For example, pair sunny yellow daffodils with the violets and blues of bluebells.
Plan a Succession of Blooms
Choose some varieties with different bloom times. Bulbs generally flower from February to May, with crocus flowers blossoming first, followed by daffodils, then tulips. By mixing early-, mid-, and late-season bloomers, you can get an entire season of splendid color.
To get a natural effect, don’t plant your bulbs in rows. This will make your Spring bulb design look artificial, especially in woodland gardens. What you can do is scatter a bunch of bulbs across your chosen area and plant them where they land. When it comes time for them to bloom, your bulbs will look like they’ve always been there.
When the bulbs have bloomed and are done flowering, let the flowering bulbs turn brown and dry up naturally. The bulbs will take this time to store energy for next year’s blooming season. It may take six to eight weeks before you can remove the brown leaves.
Get a Professional
If you want to leave the designing to the experts, you can turn to skilled landscape professionals such as Landscapes Unlimited. We will design your landscape so that you will get a magnificent Spring bulb display every year. Get in touch with us today!