Plant NOW for a Spring Bursting with Color

That chill in the air might typically mean that gardening season is coming to a close, but it also means nature’s beautiful display of autumnal color is right around the corner. Why not get out and enjoy it? A cheerful fall season begins with planting springflowering bulbs.

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the cooler weather by planting spring-flowering bulbs; give yourself an early gift of joy to experience next year. After a long winter, you’ll be delighted with the sparkling show as these bulbs will be the first blooming signs of life in the garden. Crocuses, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and more, with their vibrant colors and shapes, are amazing at giving off positive vibes while the rest of the garden is still asleep. Relish in the refreshing autumn weather while planting, then sit back and get ready for a show next spring.

Why the wait between planting and blooming? Spring flowering bulbs need a long winter to grow strong roots. The earlier they produce roots, the better the bulb can tolerate frost and the fluctuating spring weather. As soon as temperatures rise again, the flower bulbs awaken from their winter sleep and push their flower buds up through the soil.

What months are the best to plant bulbs? These garden gems should be planted from September through early January, depending on your zone. For reference:

  • Zones 4 and 5 – September to October
  • Zones 6 and 7 – October to November
  • Zones 8 and 9 – November to early December
  • Zone 10 – late December to early January

It’s best to plant them once the cooler temperatures are here to stay. If planted too early, the warm weather may confuse the bulbs and cause them to start growing. Make sure, however, to get them in before the soil freezes for the first time. 

But what about frost? Fortunately, when planted at the recommended time, bulbs are seldom damaged by frost. These fascinating plants protect themselves because they transform their starches into sugars, and the higher the sugar content in the bulbs, the lower the freezing point they have. As luck would have it, flower bulbs contain vast quantities of starch, giving them extra protection from the cold. If you have to keep bulbs a little while before planting, make sure to store them in a cool place away from light. Make note that flower bulbs can dry out if they have been unable to absorb any moisture and exposed to frost for too long.

Think long-term about where you are planting. Bulbs do best in well-draining soils and can tolerate full sun or part shade. Avoid planting them where rainwater collects on the soil surface, such as the foot of a hill or end of a drainpipe. Flower bulbs that stand in water too long have a greater chance of drowning due to a lack of oxygen. Most early flowering bulbs do well when planted under deciduous trees. The flowers emerge before or as new  leaves unfurl and go dormant by the time the trees provide heavy shade.

Before the chill has you bundled up inside, enjoy the end of another successful outdoor gardening season by getting your landscape, ready for the upcoming spring. If you plant flower bulbs now, you will be rewarded with a cheerful flower show early next year.

To learn more about planting spring-flowering bulbs, go to Easy-to-plant flower bulbs will bring you joy week after week, all spring long. Get out there and plant and give yourself the ultimate gift of spring!

226443.png 226415.png