Planting Fall Bulbs
Planting flower bulbs doesn’t require the expertise of a green thumb, expert gardener. In essence, planting flower bulbs is actually foolproof. Fall bulbs are a great choice for both beginning and advanced gardeners alike. The only requirement for planting bulbs is putting some effort into garden designs.
Bulbs should be planted in the early fall months, usually in October, when the ground temperatures are cool. A good gauge of the fall planting season is when nighttime temperatures hover between 40 to 50 degrees. Bulbs should, however, be planted at least six weeks before the first ground freeze.
When storing bulbs, keep them in a dry, cool place. Don’t attempt to store bulbs for several years, as by nature’s intent, they are designed to be in the ground.
Always read labels and planting instructions when planting bulbs. As most bulbs look similar, people need to read the instructions to determine color, blooming periods, planting depths and any recommended soil types.
If handling large volumes of bulbs, always wear gloves. Tulips, in large quantities, may cause skin irritation. Always keep bulbs away from pets and children, as consuming bulbs is poisonous and may be fatal.
Bulbs can be planted anywhere in well-drained soil. The popular saying “bulbs don’t like wet feet,” is applicable in this scenario, so avoid planting bulbs where water collects, near reservoirs, at the bottom of hills, in gullies, etc. Bulbs also love the sun so planting them in an area where they’ll receive abundant spring sunlight is beneficial.
When preparing the soil, break it up so it’s workable and loose. If the soil is clumpy or hard, consider adding Utah compost or peat moss to break up the mixture, as this offers more nutrients for bulbs.
Bulbs should be planted with the pointy end up. In worst-case scenarios, even improperly planted bulbs will usually find their ways topside. Large bulbs should be planted at a depth of eight inches and smaller bulbs around five inches. Bulbs naturally store necessary nutrients to bloom so fertilizer is not necessary the first year of planting. For bulbs that are in their second years, consider adding organic fertilizer, Salt Lake City compost or manure on top of the soil.
When coming up with design ideas for bulbs, consider adding bulbs to sidewalk areas, in between landscaping rocks in Utah or in a large bed for the ultimate showy experience. Plant bulbs with staggered blooming seasons near one another, as this helps create seasonal beauty year-round.
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