April showers bring May flowers. Isn’t that how the old saying goes? Well, aside from April showers, if you want to see spring flowers, you definitely need to know when to plant bulbs. This can often be a confusing topic for homeowners because the best time to plant bulbs is actually in the fall.
When To Plant Bulbs
While fall is often the season where we think of fall flowers like mums or pansies, fall is the best time to plant spring flowers that grow from bulbs. Common varieties of perennial spring flowers include daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs, crocus bulbs, and hyacinth bulbs.
The optimal time to plant spring bulbs is in the late fall when the soil temperatures begin to drop but before the risk of frost increases. Of course, if you live in a cooler climate zone, this may be earlier in the fall season.
Be sure to choose the right bulbs.
Bulbs like tulips and daffodils are readily available at most home and garden stores. These brightly blooming spring flowers come in a variety of colors and are sure to make your lawn and landscape a hit when the spring weather arrives.
When choosing bulbs to incorporate into your landscaping, be sure to check their blooming window. Different varieties of tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers bloom at different times through the season. The package information or bulb supplier will tell you if the bulbs you have chosen are earlier spring bloomers, mid-spring bloomers, or late spring bloomers. Canopy Lawn Care Pros recommend choosing multiple varieties and that will bloom at different times throughout the season, so your landscape with always have some color and interest!
Planting bulbs is easy!
Our Canopy Lawn Care Pros are often asked just exactly how to plant bulbs. It is really quite easy! Bulbs are typically planted about 5 inches deep into the soil, with larger bulbs requiring a slightly deeper planting (up to 8″). Be sure to check the package or ask your bulb supplier to be sure you are planting at the correct depth.
You will need a small trowel, gloves and a pair of small pruning shears to clear any roots that are in your way. Many trowels actually come with measurement markers directly on them, which can be helpful in judging the depth of your hole. If your trowel does not have measurements listed on it, a good old-fashioned ruler will do the trick.
Dig a small hole at the correct depth, clearing any rocks or roots that could inhibit flower growth. If soil quality is poor, consider adding some garden soil mixed with compost to give your bulbs enough nutrients to grow. Space your bulbs according to the directions on their package and be sure that you have chosen a sunny spot. Most spring perennials like the sun! Water the areas well, but do not over water.
Protect your bulbs during the cold season.
Canopy Lawn Care Pros recommend adding a layer of mulch or pine straw over the beds where you have planted bulbs. This helps to add insulation throughout the winter and will also add nutrients to your soil.
Be aware that animals like squirrels, moles, and voles like to eat many bulb varieties. Tulips are particularly vulnerable to lawn and garden pests like these, so you may want to take pest control measures to prevent your spring bulbs from becoming a winter snack.