GardenSMART :: 5 Easy Steps For Planting And Caring For Your Fall Bulbs
5 Easy Steps For Planting And Caring For Your Fall Bulbs
By Keriann and Jeroen Koeman, EcoTulips Images courtesy of EcoTulips
1: Upon Arrival
Open your EcoTulips box and let the bulbs get some air. In most cases bulbs are happiest when stored just below room temperature until planting. Keep then in a well-ventilated area. Temperatures between 50 and 68 degrees F are ideal. No need to store bulbs in the refrigerator, unless you live in warmer Southern States. More info: www.ecotulips.com/How-to-grow-tulips-in-warm-climates
2: Where To Plant Tulips And Other Fall Bulbs
You can plant bulbs just about anywhere in your garden as long as the soil drains well. The two most important considerations when choosing a planting site are:
Good drainage! The most important rule before planting your bulbs: Find a spot in your garden where water does not collect and drains away.
Sunlight. Especially bulbs planted in perennial gardens. You can plant in part sun but remember the sun is the energy source required to produce flowers for future springs.
3: When To Plant Tulips And Other Fall Bulbs
It is estimated that more than 10% of all bulbs purchased are NEVER planted! People just forget about them... So my first advice is to just stick them in the ground whenever you have time! Bulbs are very easy to grow. For the best results, plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus etc., in the fall. The general rule is not to plant bulbs before the soil temperature drops below 55 degrees. This is usually around the first night frost. If you find bulbs in March, always give it a try and plant them ASAP. Bulbs are not like seeds and can't be stored for the next season.
4: How To Plant Tulips And Other Fall Bulbs
Bulbs can be planted individually or in groups. I prefer planting in groups, because this creates the most dramatic display and it goes way faster than planting individually! The best planting depth for tulips is 6-8" deep. Some gardeners plant them even deeper, which can have a positive effect for perennializing. Check specific planting instructions for the proper depth and spacing for other bulbs like daffodils, muscari, etc. Smaller bulbs are planted less deep. Bulbs can be planted with very little or no spacing for the most dramatic display. However, if perennializing is desired we recommend to plant bulbs with about 4-6" spacing.
If the soil at the bottom of your planting hole is loose and not compact, the roots will have an easier time developing. When planting your bulbs, plant them with the point straight up or sideways but not upside down.
If the soil is dry at planting time, water thoroughly after planting. Rain should take care of watering needs during the winter and early spring. If the spring is extremely dry, water them moderately.
5: FERTILIZE TULIPS AND OTHER FALL BULBS
Bulbs are not heavy feeders. We do not recommend adding fertilizer to the planting hole. Our growing methods are focused on healthy soil and fertilizing is not always the best choice to create healthy soil. Synthetic fertilizers throw the soil life out of balance and can burn the new tender roots. Instead, we recommend adding a handful of compost to feed your soil. Healthy soil will create healthy plants! For perennial bulb gardens, you could use an organic low nitrogen fertilizer in very early spring, when the shoots just push through the soil.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
It’s hot outside. It makes more sense now to plant drought tolerant plants. Consider sedums, they are a hardy succulent, a late summer bloomer and an amazing pollinator plant. To learn more click here for an informative video.
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