After a long, snowy winter, we all look forward to seeing those spring blooms peeking out and brightening up your garden. This is the time of year to start planning and planting for a successful spring in your garden. Planting bulbs in the fall is a great way to guarantee that spring colour.
Here are the top 6 tips for planting bulbs in the fall
Choose an area that has good drainage and gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Ground that is too wet means the bulbs will rot in the ground.
Plant your bulbs in drifts rather than single rows, and space them out according to the package directions. Larger bulbs, like daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, should be planted at a depth of 20cm (8”), and smaller bulbs such as crocus should be planted 13 cm (5”).
A good rule of thumb is the planting depth should be 3x as deep as the width of the bulb.
After your bulbs are in the ground, cover bulbs with soil, then water.
Plant daffodils early in the fall so they can establish their root system before the frost sets in. All other bulbs can go in the ground around mid-October. If they’re planted too early, they’ll be fooled into blooming again, and won’t bloom in the spring.
After the bulbs are planted, tamp down the soil and clean up the area so the critters can’t tell you’ve been digging around. Pick up any loose bulb skins and dispose of them.
In the spring, after the bulbs have bloomed, deadhead them but leave the leaves standing until they turn brown. This ensures that the bulbs store food for next year’s growth.
Squirrels can be a bit of a pest when it comes to your fall bulbs. Fortunately, your daffodils, crocus or hyacinth are not tempting to squirrels, rabbits or deer. There’s no surefire way to protect your bulbs from these marauders, but covering bulbs in chicken wire can be effective. Or you can use a repellent like blood meal, or a mix of boneand blood meal, and fertilize and deter pests all at once.