Late September through October is an excellent time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips, and daffodils into your landscape beds for a colorful pop next spring. These plants need to develop roots in the fall and must meet a chilling requirement over the winter to bloom in the spring.
It is important to choose a planting site that has full sun to partial shade. Ideally, bulbs would be planted in a sandy loam soil, but even sandy or clay type soils can be used if organic materials such as peat moss, compost, or aged bark are mixed in.
There are several things you can do that will help improve your success rate with bulbs blooming next spring.
- Plant bulbs two to three times deeper than the height of the bulb. For example, if the bulb is 3 inches tall you will have a hole that is 6 to 9 inches deep so that there is sufficient soil to cover the bulb.
- Plant bulbs with the “pointy” side facing up.
- Make sure your soil is in an area with good drainage as bulbs will rot in wet soil.
- Once the bulbs are in the ground, fertilize with a 5-10-5 granular fertilizer to help the bulbs grow.
A few other things to keep in mind as well.
- If we experience a dry winter, supplemental watering will be necessary. Even though there are no leaves above the ground surface, the bulb is active producing roots.
- Be sure to protect the bulbs from pests as well. Squirrels, rabbits, and voles will tend to damage or dig them up if they are planted too close to the surface.
- Keep bulbs inside flower beds. Planting bulbs in the middle of the lawn will cause problems when trying to apply spring pre-emergent applications, potentially damaging the flowers or leaving spots of the lawn vulnerable to weeds.
With a little planning and extra effort this fall, you will be well on your way to being the envy of your neighborhood next spring. Contact LawnAmerica today.