Planting bulbs for spring flowers results in a beautiful display of color just when you need it most.
In many locations, there are just too many cold, damp, cloudy days in the winter. But what a delight it is in the spring seeing the tiny flowers of crocus bulbs poking their blooms just above the ground.
This is then followed by the colorful display of flowers coming from hyacinth bulbs, daffodil bulbs, and tulip bulbs.
Planting bulbs that bloom in the spring is one of many great flower garden ideas. They will greatly enhance your backyard landscape. They produce a wide range of flower colors, shapes, sizes, and heights.
You can select spring bulbs that bloom from the early flowering period through the late flowering period. By planting bulbs selected in this way, you can have a long period of continuous blooming flowers in the spring
Keep in mind that spring flowering bulbs must be planted in the fall. The exact time depends on your geographic location. Check with your local garden center to determine when your bulbs should be planted.
Planting bulbs for spring flowers
The most important factor in growing beautiful spring flowering bulbs is to select the right site for planting.
1. Light conditions – Most flowering bulbs prefer full sun. Check the light requirements for the bulbs you are planting. Keep in mind that deciduous trees may block the sun in the fall but don’t block the sun that much in the early spring since they don’t have leaves yet.
Stay clear of tree roots since they will rob the bulbs of moisture and nutrients in the soil.
On the other hand, Woodland bulbs prefer some shade. These bulbs include Anemone varieties, Jack in the Pulpit, Dog’s Tooth Violets, Snowdrops, and Trillium.
2. Soil conditions – Plant spring bulbs in a well-drained, loamy soil. The pH of the soil should be between 6.0 and 7.0. You can buy a pH testing kit at your local garden center.
To raise the pH of your soil, you can add hydrated lime or ground limestone. Hydrated lime reacts almost immediately in the soil. A ground or dolomite limestone could take several months to take effect. So you should add limestone several months in advance of planting bulbs. These additives should be incorporated into your soil at least one week prior to applying fertilizer.
The pH of your soil can be reduced by adding cow manure, peat moss, or other compost materials.
You can add bone meal to the soil for additional nutrients. If this causes animals to dig in your bed, you may want to lay some chicken wire over the planted bulbs. Remove it in early spring before the bulbs put out growth.
3. Planting depth – Plant bulbs with the pointed side up and at a depth approximately 3 times the height of the bulb. So the base (roots) of daffodil bulbs should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep. Tulip bulbs and other smaller bulbs can be planted 3 to 5 inches deep depending on their size.
You should add 2 to 3 inches of pine bark mulch over the garden area after planting the bulbs. Mulch will help protect the bulbs over the winter. It will also help the soil maintain moisture.
Here’s an important point. Consider the depth of the mulch in determining how deep to plant the bulbs. So if you are planting bulbs 8 inches deep, 2 to 3 of those inches is made up of the mulch. Therefore, the base of the bulb is covered by 5 to 6 inches of soil.
This post has discussed one of the best flower garden ideas for your backyard landscape. In my next post, I will talk about some of my favorite spring flowers grown from a bulb – crocus, tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs.