The Good Life

Planting Bulbs

There’s one more job before the gardening season closes: planting bulbs for spring flowers. Here’s some advice from the 50Plus website.

For best results, wait until soil temperatures are below 16C.

By choosing different bulb varieties, you can enjoy spring flowers from late winter to early summer. For an early glimpse of spring, plant crocuses and snowdrops. Daffodils bloom next, followed by tulips, and so on.

Buy only top quality bulbs – make sure they’re large, firm, and have good color.

Choose a site that has good drainage and at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. If the soil is poorly drained, consider raised beds. To prepare planting beds, dig up six to eight inches of soil. Add peat moss or other organic matter, then mix in fertilizer containing phosphorus or special bulb fertilizer. If rodents, skunks, or other small animals are a problem, bone meal will only attract them. You can help avoid digging problems by placing a fine wire mesh over the bulb bed. Or you could use crushed rocks or shells.

Plant the bulbs in groups or clumps rather than in rows. Place them in the ground upright, pointed ends up. As a rule of thumb, they should be planted three times as deep as the bulb’s greatest dimension. Use a shovel, trowel, or bulb planter, and space them according to size. Large bulbs like tulips should be placed four to six inches apart while smaller bulbs like crocus should be placed one to two inches apart.

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