Garden color fading? Now's the time to get bulbs into the ground
Fall is the season when most gardens—and most gardeners—start to slow down for the year. But smart gardeners know that fall is the perfect time to plant flower bulbs that will bloom in the spring.
Bulbs can be planted in small groups of three to nine bulbs.or in large flower beds that create a dramatic display of spring color. Garden experts advise planting about five bulbs per square foot to create the best display of early-season flowers.
When buying bulbs, keep in mind that the bigger bulbs produce bigger blooms. That’s why experienced gardeners skip the small, bargain-bin bulbs and go for the heftier (and yes, more expensive) bulbs that are the most reliable bloomers.
There are many types of spring-flowering bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are the most common, but other varieties such as alliums, crocus, hyacinth, and muscari are also delightful spring flowers.
Here are some great choices for spring-blooming bulbs. It’s time to start planting!
Tulip Jonquieres is a superstar
Tulip ‘Jonquieres’ is a stunning addition to any yard or garden. This gorgeous flower is a long-lasting double-petalled tulip that features creamy petals splashed with magenta accents. The magenta softens to a bright pink as the blooms mature. The stunning flower resembles a lush peony but grows best in full sun or partial shade. The blooms also make wonderful cut flowers because they add a dramatic touch to any floral display.
“Jonquieres is the most beautiful tulip I have ever seen,” says Ben Rotteveel, owner of DutchGrown, who has been in the flower bulb business for more than 30 years. Buy 10, 25 or 100 bulbs at dutchgrown.com/products/tulip-jonquiers
Artful allium accents
Alliums are large, showy, globe-shaped flowers that command attention with their size and color. The Artful Accents Allium Bulb Collection adds beauty and textural accents to any late spring or early summer garden. With flower colors ranging from bright white to silvery pink to light purple, these blossoms are impossible to ignore.
The flower shapes and the petal variations give this bulb collection a look that other bulbs simply cannot match. Plant these bulbs together for a dramatic display or spread them throughout the garden as focal points. The 50-bulb collection is available from AmericanMeadows.com.
Johann Strauss daffodil
Everyone knows the familiar bright yellow flower of spring-blooming daffodils, but other daffodil flower colors are also available. One of the most striking is the bi-color Johann Strauss daffodil. The outer petals are white, and the inner cup is dark orange. This variety grows 16-18 inches tall and blooms in early- to mid-spring.
Daffodils are deer-resistant, so they are particularly well suited to acreage properties. After the blooms have faded, let the daffodil foliage mature and die down naturally to recharge the bulb for next year’s blooms. Johann Strauss daffodils are available from WoodenShoe.com and other online vendors.
Perfect pastel colors
Bright-colored flowers are awesome, but spring is also the time for lovely pastel shades. The Tulip Perfect Pastel Collection is an expertly-curated selection of the finest pastel-colored tulips available. This soft-hued, romantic collection of tulips features shades of lilac, light pink and soft apricot. These flowers not only look great, but offer a lovely fragrance, too.
These are triumph tulips that grow up to 16 inches tall and bloom in early to mid-spring. They grow best in full or partial sun and are cold hardy to USDA zone 3. The Tulip Perfect Pastel Collection is available exclusively from DutchGrown.com.
The easy way to plant bulbs
Planting bulbs can be hard work, especially when you are planting dozens or even hundreds of bulbs. That’s when the right labor-saving tool can make all the difference. A planting auger is the ideal tool for planting bulbs in the yard.
The auger fits into any standard power drill, and it quickly digs the perfect-sized holes for tulip, daffodil, hyacinth and other flower bulbs.
Simply drill to the maximum depth of the auger and lift the auger out of the hole. Put some fertilizer in the hole, drop the bulb in (pointy side up), refill the hole with the loose soil the auger has removed. Voilà, you are done! A variety of planting augers is available from powerplanter.com.
So, plant bulbs this fall, and enjoy your colorful show of flowers next spring!
About the author
Randall D. Schultz a master gardener and the content editor for HomeGardenandHomestead.com, an award-winning website filled with helpful advice for homeowners and homesteaders. Subscribe to the free e-newsletter and receive the booklet, 15 Garden Hacks that Will Save You Money.