Spring may still be a long way off, but if you want color in your garden in early spring, you should plant flower bulbs in the fall. Plant lots of bulbs if you want to create a true explosion of color. The perfect time is between mid-September and mid-December. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, this is the time to start. Make sure, however, that your flower bulbs have been planted before the soil freezes the first time.
Flower bulbs add color to the garden at times when it is needed most. Insects like bees and butterflies need nectar and pollen to survive. But in early spring, there is not enough nectar and pollen to go around. By planting spring-flowering bulbous crops, you make sure there are more flowers. Nectar and pollen are released as early as January through the earliest flowering bulbous plants.
Places in the garden
Flower bulbs are not too picky about where they are planted, although most do like a bit of sun. Check the packaging to see where in the garden your flower bulbs will thrive. Plant them under trees, between shrubs and perennials, in borders or even in the grass. The code word is ‘masses’. The more flower bulbs you plant, the bigger the effect.
Suit your own personal taste
Spring-flowering bulbs offer a broad range of possibilities. With their different shapes, colors and heights, they can be combined almost without limits. Will you choose peace and unity by working with a single color or variety, or will you go for a color explosion with a colorful mix? Choose the style that makes you happy so that you can enjoy your personal mix to the fullest.
The best-known spring-flowering bulbs are tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus). But the list is delightfully long: there are so many beautiful varieties to choose from. Think of grape hyacinths (Muscari), crocuses, snowdrops (Galanthus), alliums, springstar (Ipheion), crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) and so on.
Once you have chosen your flower bulbs and decided where they will go, it’s time to plant them. If you prefer a natural look, mix the different varieties together in a bucket or basket and scatter them casually. Plant the bulbs wherever they end up landing. If you want to plant your bulbs in clusters, dig a big hole. And if you’d rather plant them solo, dig several holes.
This is how it is done:
- Dig one hole for a group of flower bulbs or make individual holes for planting several single flower bulbs. The size of the flower bulb determines how deep it should be planted. Large flower bulbs (5 cm or larger) should be planted 15 cm deep and small flower bulbs (1 – 2 inches) 3 to 4 inches deep.
- Remove weeds and small stones and then work some garden mold into the soil to improve drainage.
- Place the flower bulbs gently into the soil with the point facing up. Be careful not to press down too hard on the flower bulb, or you may damage it. Large flower bulbs should be planted 3 to 7 inches apart and small bulbs 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Cover the flower bulbs with the soil dug from the hole.
- If the soil is dry, give the flower bulbs some water.