Fall is a time when we work hard to extend our season – a backyard bonfire to stave off the fall chill, one last evening bike ride in the waning light, a final meal with fresh picked garden ingredients. We are also already hopeful; looking forward to spring. At our house we are planting bulbs – the ultimate promise of spring.
Prepare to Grow
Fall bulbs should be planted two to three times as deep as the bulbs height. You can plant bulbs individually or as a group. Typically, I plant them together. I like the big show they put on.
Planting a single: Make each hole just a little bigger than the bulb.
Planting a group: Make the hole wide enough to allow the bulbs to be three bulb-widths apart. The more bulbs you plant, the more impressive the spring display!
Add an organic fertilizer before placing the bulbs.
Use one with a high phosphorous (P) number. The middle number on the fertilizer package, like 5-10-5 is the P. Phosphorous makes bigger blooms!
Place the bulbs in the hole pointy end up.
Not sure which end is up? Don’t panic – nature will step in and the flower will eventually find its way to the sun.
Refill the hole, pat the soil to remove any air pockets.
Avoid compressing the soil. Just make sure the bulbs won’t become exposed after a season of rain.
Water over and around the bulbs.
After watering check the soil for any obvious settling. If there is, then add more soil.
My personal favorite bulbs are Alliums. There are many different colors and presentations of Alliums – blue, green, purple, white and pink. I like them because they bloom for several months in the garden, many are tall and create nice architecture in the garden bed, and you can dry them (some of my dried ones lasted five years).
Wait and enjoy!
Over the cool season your bulbs will take root, grow and flower while you wait. Enjoy your colorful display all spring – and for many more springs to come.