1. How do I plant fall bulbs?
A good general rule is to plant bulbs at a depth three times their heights. For example, daffodil bulbs
that are 2 to 2 ½ inches high should be planted about 6 to 8 inches deep. And remember, if you add
mulch on top; factor that into your planting depth.
Most fall planted bulbs only produce one flower per bulb, so it is best to plant
them in groupings. Larger bulbs such as tulips and daffodils are best planted
in groups of at least 10 and smaller bulbs such as crocus are showiest when
planted in groups of 25 or more.
The best method is to dig out the entire area that you want to plant, rather
than digging individual holes. Dig the area as deep as is required for the
largest bulbs. If you have smaller bulbs to be planted in the same area,
create little mounds of soil to place them on that will bring them up to the
proper planting depth. Place your bulbs in the dug out area with the pointed
end up and the flatter end at the bottom. Add bulb food and refill the area
with soil that has been mixed with organic matter such as Soil Pep.
2. When should I plant fall bulbs?
Fall (spring flowering) bulbs can be planted anytime in the fall before the ground freezes. They must be
planted in the fall rather than in the spring because they require a long period of cool temperatures to
spark their growth process that causes them to flower. In east Idaho this can be done as early as late
August or September, and should be completed by late October.
For best results, plant bulbs as soon as possible after you purchase them. Your bulbs need to establish
strong root systems, before the frosts of winter set in and the bulbs enter a new cycle in preparation for
3. How do I prevent rodent damage?
To prevent rodent damage spray bulbs with Ropel Bulb Protectant before covering them with soil. Then
cut a piece of chicken wire 3 inches larger on each side than the size of bulb bed. Bend the edges to
create a shallow box top shape and set the chicken wire on top of your newly planted bulbs. Push the
3-inch edges down into the soil. To complete the planting add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch. This does 3
things. It hides the chicken wire, further insulates the bulbs and gives the beds a finished look.
In the spring when the bulb foliage begins to emerge, remove the chicken wire so that the plants can
4. Why don’t my tulips come back year after year?
In our climate many tulips do come back for several years, but many varieties only last a year or two,
so you need to plant a few bulbs each fall to keep the display as fresh and beautiful as it can be.
Species tulips and Darwin Hybrids are more reliably perennial than others. The darker hued Darwin
hybrids do better than the pastel ones.