Melinda Myers offers advice for planting bulbs that will make you happy next spring.
Add a bit of carefree color to your spring landscape with the help of bulbs. These beauties provide the first bit of color, fragrance and winter relief each year.
Most spring flowering bulbs flourish in at least 6 hours of sun and well-drained soil. But keep in mind that many grow and bloom before the trees leaf out. So a shady summer spot might provide enough spring sunshine for your favorite bulbs.
But don’t overlook those consistently shady spots. Use more shade tolerant spring bloomers like snowdrops, grape hyacinths, squills, daffodils, and fritillarias in shady areas among hostas, ferns and other shade tolerant perennials.
Avoid planting bulbs next to dryer vents or against the south side foundation of your home. These areas tend to warm up early in spring or experience a mid winter thaw. Bulbs planted in these locations tend to sprout too early and the subsequent cold temperature may damage or eliminate that season’s spring blooms.
Plant bulbs among perennials to reduce maintenance and boost your garden’s beauty. Once the bulbs are done blooming, the surrounding perennials mask the fading foliage. Or add a few cool season annuals like pansies and snapdragons for added spring color and help masking the fading bulb leaves.
And don’t let deer, rabbits and chipmunks dissuade you from planting. Include hyacinths, grape hyacinths, squills, glory-of-the-snow, fritillarias, and alliums that the animals tend to overlook.
Plant bulbs now until the ground freezes. Add two inches of organic matter to the top 12” of clay soil to improve drainage and sandy soil to increase water holding ability. Incorporate a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer at the same time.
Plant the bulbs two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall. Then water thoroughly to remove any air pockets and encourage fall root growth. Mulch the soil surface with shredded leaves, bark or evergreen needles to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and reduce the risk of early sprouting.
So break out the trowel and get busy planting a rainbow of color you’ll enjoy next spring.
Spring Flowering Bulbs At a Glance
Bulbs Include: Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, fritillaria, snowdrops, crocus, grape hyacinths, squills
Light: Full sun, some are shade tolerant – check the label
Water: Water thoroughly at planting and in spring as needed
Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!