Planting Fall Bulbs

This week I attended a garden seminar on planting fall bulbs. The main speaker was Peg Bier of Merrifield Garden Center. Below are some of the things I came away with from her presentation.

My experience with planting bulbs in containers is growing paperwhite narcissus bulbs indoors for the holidays. Paperwhite bulbs are native to the Mediterranean area and have a strong fragrance. Unfortunately, paperwhite bulbs are perennials in my cooler area of the country. So once the paperwhites bulbs bloom, the spent bulbs end up in my trash can.

Planting Fall Bulbs – How To

For best results when planting fall blubs outdoors, use a large planter from 12 to 14 inches across. Add a piece of landscaping fabric over the bottom drainage hole to keep out insects.

Plant a variety of bulbs in one crock but be sure to plant each bulb at the proper depth.

Add a good bulb fertilizer to the top soil, like Bulb-Tone, and follow the package’s directions.

Daffodils are the only spring flowers that are generally deer resistant. For everything else, spray with Bobbex repellant.

Planting Tips

Try to plan out your fall bulb plant selection to time the blooms so your garden offers color all spring long.

Please do not cut or braid daffodil leaves after they bloom.

The bulbs need their leaves to nourish them for the next season.

Snow drops are usually the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring.

Plant snow drops bulbs under deciduous trees. That way, the flower blooms when it is cold outside, the tree is still leafless, and the bulbs get enough sun.

Trail Diva's Photograph in PA

The photograph on the right, is of snow drop flowers.

It was submitted by Trail Diva, one of our Readers.

One caution when planting fall bulbs under a tree is to respect the roots. Don’t injure the tree’s roots when you plant the bulbs.

It is also nice to coordinate spring color flowers with other plants. Red blooming tulips look stunning near a red Japanese Maple tree.

The below photograph taken at Merrifield Garden Center, shows boxes of spring flower bulbs ready for planting.

Wooden Boxes of Tulip Bulbs at Merrifield Garden Center

Remember lack of drainage is the enemy of spring bulbs and will cause the bulbs to rot. Spring bulbs grow best in well-drained enriched soil.

When talking about bulbs, don’t forget to plant some garlic bulbs in your garden. Be sure to break the bulbs apart. If you plant Elephant Garlic you will get a big clove of mild tasting garlic.

When winter is over, you’ll be glad you planted a variety of fall bulbs. Enjoy the garden’s spring flower show.

A Big Thank You to Peg Bier of Merrifield Garden Center and her helpful advice on growing everything from A to Z. Thanks Peg, we love your online programs!

I would have never made it through the COVID pandemic without your wonderful online programs to look forward to.

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