How to Plant Bulbs in Autumn for Spring Blooms | Living the Country Life
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How to Plant Bulbs in Autumn for Spring Blooms

Plant bulbs en masse now for drifts of colorful blooms when spring arrives. Eager gardeners know that scurrying to bury bulbs before the ground freezes in the fall is the ticket to a front-row seat for spring’s early show. The cheerful blooms of the smallest hardy bulbs are the first to emerge. Planted by the dozens in the lawn or under trees, smaller-stature species—such as snowdrops, glory of the snow, Scilla, winter aconite, tulip, and daffodil—act as carefree wildflowers. These plants will absorb the sunshine they need before the trees leaf out. If undisturbed, many will self-seed and expand their carpetlike colonies each year in a process called naturalization. To plant, choose one of these methods.
  • dibble, planting bulbs

    Dibble One In

    To plant a few bulbs here and there, use a dibble—a hand tool designed for bulbs. Dibbles are good for species that require a planting depth of just 2 or 3 inches, such as Scilla. To plant, the rule of thumb is to dig a hole the depth of 2½ times the bulb’s diameter.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • bulb planting, aconite

    Dig a Hole for a Handful

    A 12-inch-diameter hole, dug to the appropriate depth (2 inches for these winter aconite bulbs), is the quickest way to plant a bunch of bulbs. Follow recommended spacing.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Use a Drill for Bigger Bulbs

    Attach a bulb auger to a power drill to make zippy work of digging deeper holes for bigger bulbs, such as Narcissus. Augers come in various sizes to accommodate different bulbs.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Some Spring Blooms to Plant in Fall

    Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

    Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)

    Tulip ‘Lilac Wonder’ (Tulipa Saxatilis)

    Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)

    Snowdrops (Galanthus spp.)

    Tulipa sylvestris

    Glory of the snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) 

     

     

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016

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