This fall’s mild temperatures give us an opportunity to plant now for a beautiful landscape next year. Fall is the best time to get bulbs into the ground for spring color. Choose your location and buy your bulbs now if you haven’t already.

It’s hard to go wrong with tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and crocus. Add edibles to the mix by planting garlic and saffron crocus.

Note the bloom times of each type of flower so you can group and plant them accordingly. Daffodils and crocus are early bloomers. Depending on the variety, tulips can have 3 different bloom times. Your bulb provider should give you that information so you can make the best choices.

Bulb planting tips:

  • Select locations that are well drained and get plenty of sun.
  • Plant the bulbs as soon as possible after you buy them.
  • Group bulbs by bloom time, ideally in groups of seven or more bulbs. When bulbs bloom as a group, they will have a greater visual impact than if planted separately or in a row.
  • You can plant bulbs one at a time with a special bulb tool or spade, but a more efficient practice is to dig a hole or trench large enough for each group of bulbs. Dig the hole 3 times deeper than the bulb height.
  • Place bulbs in the hole spacing bulbs about twice their width from the next bulb.
  • Place the tops (pointed ends) up. If you can’t tell top from bottom, place bulbs on their sides and the shoots will naturally grow up and the roots will grow down. Once all the bulbs are in place, re-fill the hole with the soil or cover your trench.
  • Fertilize according to label directions with a product high in phosphorous – a super phosphate.
  • When planting hyacinths, wear gloves as touching them with bare skin sometimes causes a rash.
  • After planting, top dress the beds with shredded wood mulch or a layer of mulched leaves.

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