The What, When, How and Where to planting bulbs this fall to get the best spring blooms!
What Bulbs should I plant?
When choosing bulbs, be sure to pick those that will thrive in your growing zone. Next you may wish to choose based on colour, height and bloom time.
Selecting a variety of bulbs will create a cheery spring garden with continuous blooms with striking colour and texture. One garden hack to deter squirrels from stealing your tulip bulbs is to plant daffodils along side - these little rodents hate daffodils!
When should I begin planting my fall bulbs?
A general rule is to plant bulbs when the temperature is consistently 5-10 degrees each day - mid October is usually about right. Daffodils may be planted a bit earlier than some bulbs, but planting most bulbs too early may trick them into blooming in the fall which will prevent them from coming up in the spring.
Where should I plant them?
Sun and soil are the two most important factors when planting your bulbs. Most spring bulbs require full sun exposure- that is at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. There are some bulbs that are bred for partial sun, so please read and follow those instructions on the package.
Your bulbs will require well drained soil. If your soil is heavy and compact, work it well with a shovel and mix in compost and some peat before planting the bulbs. Too much moisture sitting in the soil will rot the bulbs and the plants will not come up in the spring. Good soil is the foundation of any healthy garden!
How do I plant my bulbs?
Planting your bulbs does not have to be complicated! Plant fall bulbs three times as deep as the width of the bulb (or according to the package instructions) - this is deep enough to avoid heaving from the soil freezing and unfreezing.
Position the top- or sprouting end - up when planting. If you don't know what end this is - not to worry! - just lay it on it's side and mother nature will do the rest.
If you are looking for some colourful impact in your garden bed, do not spread your bulbs out too much. Arrange them in clusters about an inch apart from each other. Planting them in groups in a triangular or circular shape can make a visual statement.
~ Mark your planting with garden labels or popsicle sticks so you don't accidentally dig them up later on.
~ In the spring when they are done blooming, let them die off naturally. At this stage they are going dormant and storing energy, so their leaves should be left alone in order to complete the cycle. If you are concerned about the appearance of the dying foliage, plant the bulbs near perennials that will leaf out and cover them as the spring progresses. ~ To keep squirrels away, intersperse your tulip bulbs with daffodils (the critters stay away from them), sprinkle Bone meal on top of your plantings, or if they are persistent - lay a piece of chicken wire or grid wire over the planting to prevent digging.
~ Don't over fertilize! This can lead to rotten bulbs; mix good compost into the soil or ask your Ritchie's Expert about which fertilizer would work best for your spring blooms!
~ Fall Planting bulbs arrive in store in mid September. Stop in then to shop our large selection!