Plant Bulbs | An Easy Way To Garden

Interested in planting, cultivating, and delighting in spring flower bulbs? It is a lovely and easy entry into gardening. Bulbs can be planted in pots, in raised beds, or directly in the ground.

Interested in planting, cultivating, and delighting in spring flower bulbs? It is a lovely and easy entry into gardening. Bulbs can be planted in pots, in raised beds, or directly in the ground. Easily found in garden stores and online, a bag full of sunny daffodils costs less than ten dollars and will reliably grow and bloom, making them an easy first-step to getting a green thumb.

Planting time is based on geographical area. Blubs like to have a period of cold but also need time to develop. Planting bulbs in areas with lower temperatures must be accomplished before the ground freezes, while bulbs are firm and show no obvious sprouts. Accomplishing planting when nightly temperatures are 40–50 degrees and six weeks before the ground is expected to freeze are good rules to keep in mind for future bulb blossoming. 

Bulbs need good drainage and require sunny areas. Plant bulbs with the pointy side up, three times the depth of the bulb. A bit too deep is far better than planting too shallowly. If planted wrong side up it could take some time before the bulb figures out which end “up” is. If planting into a pot, keep them in a sheltered spot over the winter to prevent drowning. One can even layer bulbs in one container to get a lasting display and save space

A thoughtful selection of early-blooming, mid-season, and late bloomers can generate a bulb season of up to 10 weeks. While for some tulips are best treated as annuals and planted each year, others, with a bit of luck, wise selection, and cold weather, will get several (if not more) seasons of re-bloom. Other spring bulbs such as muscari, alliums, and daffodils are considered perennials, which will return and bloom each spring, across much of the U.S. Not only will they continue to come back, they will also multiply over time creating swatches of blooms. 

Not all blubs are fall-planted. Glorious gladiolus, amazing anemones, dazzling dahlias, and captivating canna lilies are spring-planted bloomers. Mixing these with fall-planted blubs will create an abundant display for much of the gardening year. 

Squirrels and chipmunks love tulips and crocus and will often dig up bulbs. Planting muscari, daffodil, hyacinth, bluebells, freesia, and iris may keep the interested parties away, but adding sharp gravel to the bulb area or covering it with fine mesh will help keep bulbs safe. Coffee grounds are considered a deterrent for many animals and insects as well and can improve the soil. But just plan on sharing the bounty and plant a few extra to feed the wildlife. Most garden variety bulbs are not expensive. Planting in containers is another protective measure and allows gardeners with little space to enjoy the bounty of spring blooms too. If all else fails, bulbs can be forced inside

For more help consider reading:

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers by Arthur Parkinson

In Bloom: Growing, Harvesting, and Arranging Homegrown Flowers All Year Round by Clare Nolan


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