'Tis the Season for Fall Bulb Planting 

As we experience the first chilly morning and the leaves start to turn, many gardeners begin to think about next year's garden. One of the greatest early-season thrills is seeing spring blooming flowers popping up their heads, possibly even through a late spring snow. Fall is THE time to plant spring bulbs for beautiful bursts of brightly colored flowers heralding the long-awaited spring.  

Here are five fall planting tips that will help make next year's spring garden one of your prettiest!

Amstelveen Mix Brent & Becky
Narcissus Naturalizing Mix

1. Plant for continuous blooms from early spring to early summer.  Starting with snowdrops and crocus and ending with alliums you can create 8 to 10 weeks of bulb beauty...usually when you, your garden and pollinators need it the most! 

2. Plant in groups of color - a bulb here or there, just doesn't give the impact that a large group of flowers can.  Make a splash next spring by planting numerous bulbs of one type together.  Smaller bulbs usually make an impact when 25 or more are planted together. Tulips can really be seen when 12 or more are grouped together.  Larger bulbs and large flower heads like alliums and daffodils can be seen with as few as three together but for a large WOW try 7-9 together!

Longfield Garden Allium
american meadows fall Q&A

3. Plant your bulbs as soon as the ground is cold and when evenings are consistently in the 40's and 50's.  A good tip is to plant six weeks before the ground freezes in your area.  For warmer states, your bulbs will require pre-chilling before planting in the ground.  

4. Plant the bulbs in loosened soil following the directions on the bulb's packaging. Now is the time to add compost or fertilizer if your soil lacks nutrients.  In general, plant bulbs3 times the height of the bulb. For example, a 2" tall daffodil bulb should be planted 6" deep. Plant with the pointy side up.  Sometimes it is hard to determine which side is the pointy end, if there is a question, plant the bulb on its side.  

5. Try planting some spring bulbs in containers.  Create a stunning display in your containers by adding bulbs for spring! When planting in a container, don't be afraid to pack it full of bulbs. Plant bulbs at different heights to create an interesting display and longer seasonal appeal.  You can easily put 20-30 bulbs in a 14-20 inch across pot. Experiment, have fun, it will be worth it!  

For more information: Contact Diane Blazek at National Garden Bureau by e-mail.

Founded in 1920, the National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate basic instructions for backyard gardeners and those who want to garden, that will inspire them to spend more time outdoors, enjoying all nature has to offer. 

You can help replenish the population of pollinators by planting a pollinator garden. Choose appropriate pollinator-friendly plants for your local area then click on the link to the left to register your garden.

Help us reach 1 million new pollinator gardens!
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