Successfully Planting Flower Bulbs

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 12, 2013)

Have you ever planted flower bulbs in the fall, only to be disappointed that they all bloom in early spring, with the blooms dying away early, leaving your garden or landscape entirely bloomless for the rest of the spring, entire summer, and early fall? Well, you're not alone. Novice gardeners most times do not research the different growing seasons for flowering bulbs and, for that reason, do not know that different species of bulbs flower at different times of various seasons. If you want to successfully plant flower bulbs to bloom in every season, read on for tips of how to do just that.

Flower bulbs are commonly divided into two categories; spring-flowering bulbs, which are planted in the fall, and summer-flowering, which are planted in the spring. The first thing you need to determine is when you want blooms to appear. If you want flowers to bloom when there is still snow on the ground, then you need to choose varieties such as crocus or hyacinth. Daffodils, tulips, and iris also bloom in early spring, but some varieties bloom mid-spring. Once the spring blooms die away, your garden will be alive with bloom again in summer if you grow gladiolus, caladium, and begonias. Finally, when summer heat fades the blooms of your flowers, fall-flowering bulbs, such as lilies and dahlias, reinvigorate your landscape with color.

As you can see, you can have blooming color in your landscape nearly year 'round if you take the time to research which flowers will bloom at what time, and then plant them properly. Generally, flower bulbs should be planted about five weeks before first frost, and they prefer full sunlight and moist soil. Remember that spring bulbs need to be planted in the spring, but will not bloom until late summer or fall. Conversely, fall bulbs are planted in the fall, and bloom in spring. Follow these tips to properly plant your bulbs:

  • Prepare your flowerbeds by pulling all of the weeds and grass, turning the soil as you go, and get rid of all debris and large clumps of dirt.
  • Dig the holes. Using a bulb planter or a hand spade, dig holes about twice the diameter of the bulb, placing bulbs about five inches apart.
  • Place the bulbs and cover them. Turn the bulb pointed side up, and place it into the bottom of the hole.

Cover the bulb with dirt and add fertilizer, if you wish. It's a good idea to use twigs or Popsicle sticks to mark the bulbs that you've planted, so that you can envision how the landscape or garden will look when it blooms. You may choose to add a thin layer of mulch after you've finished planting your bulbs. The only other thing to do is to wait and anticipate the burst of color your flowers will bring!

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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