Planting Fall Bulbs

planting bulbsA mild November, bulbs on sale, and helpful children were the hat trick I needed to finally plant spring flower bulbs at Barking Frog Farm. Every year as the days get shorter and colder, I think about the cheerful appearance of spring daffodils. I then think that I need to plant some bulbs if I want to see them in my yard. Each of the past 5 years that we have lived here, I have let any number of obstacles stop the fall planting. Not this year!

Aurora, Stephen, and I headed outdoors on a 60 degree late November day to plant more than 250 bulbs. I dug the holes and they placed the bulbs in the ground. As we planted we talked about the bulbs—their color, shape, size, and the proper way to plant them. And the most fun of all, we talked about what will happen in the spring. I loved sharing this magical gardening event with Stephen and Aurora.

Before we started planting, I did a little research. Below is a list of some of the helpful information I found:

  • bulbs in groundGood soil drainage is essential.
  • Consider the amount of light an area gets before planting. Spring bulbs planted on a south slope will bloom earlier than the same bulbs planted on a north slope.
  • Plant each bulb two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall. Most daffodils and tulips will be planted about 8 inches deep, while crocuses will be planted three to four inches deep.
  • Plant bulbs with the roots down and the points up.
  • Water bulbs after planting to settle the soil and to communicate to the bulb that it is time to start rooting. Fall-planted bulbs must root before the cold weather.
  • Most bulbs can be planted until the ground is frozen.
  • The Bulb Project
  • Bulbs & More

bulb close upAfter the bulbs were planted, the weather continued to cooperate. The day after the bulbs went in the ground, it rained. A helpful soaking rain that would reach the bulbs 8 inches underground. Just what I needed to wake up the bulbs and get them rooting. For the next week temperatures stayed in the low 50s—a bit colder at night, but not enough to freeze the ground. As I look out into my yard or pass a flower bed, I smile knowing what’s happening in the ground and what awaits me next spring. Such hopeful, promising thoughts will make my winter warmer.

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3 Responses to Planting Fall Bulbs

  1. betsy says:

    I think of you every spring when my daffodils come up!

  2. Shannon says:

    My poor confused crocuses! I planted them a little earlier and with all the warm weather, some of them already bloomed!

    I can’t wait to see your yard in the spring!

  3. Marie Fontaine says:

    I loved your story, because it exactly reflects how I have felt after planting spring bulbs! I, too, smile at that frozen, barren brown earth, knowing what is waiting to happen in the spring. The dark of mid-winter is the time for contemplation of the cycles of life – life and the light will return, in an endless cycle. Now, it is time for the earth to sleep (at least here in New England!).

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