Think Spring this Fall

Spring blooming bulbs are some of the most prized flowers in the garden for a number of reasons. First of all they are the first to bloom in the spring. Secondly they require very little care. And thirdly they come at a time of year when we are yearning for something to color up the drab grays of winter. Their colors are so spectacularly vivid they brighten the winter weary soul.

The down side is that they have to be planted six months before you get to enjoy the blooms, so you have to plan ahead. The most popular bulbs are tulips and daffodils, followed by crocus and hyacinths. But there are a host of other less well known bulbs that can be planted in the fall as well. September and October are the best months to plant fall bulbs, but they can be planted any time until the ground freezes, usually in November sometime.

A good general rule is to plant bulbs at a depth three times their heights. For example, daffodil bulbs that are 2 to 2 1/2 inches high should be planted about 6 to 8 inches deep. And remember, if you add mulch on top that is included into your planting depth. Be sure to plant them where the soil is well drained and feed them with Dutch Bulb Food at time of planting.

If you can’t plant your bulbs right away keep them in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or basement. Warmth and moisture will signal the bulbs to start growing, so keep them cool. Check on them occasionally to be sure they aren’t getting moldy or soft and plant them as soon as you can.

If you have problems with deer eating your spring flowering bulbs try daffodils, allium, crocus, chinodoxa, scilla, grape hyacinths and snow drops. They are all fairly deer resistant. But if deer get hungry enough, they’ll eat anything.

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