Flowering bulbs are great for the beginner gardener. They are economical, produce vibrant colors, come in a wide assortment of sizes, flower for different periods of time but most importantly they require minimal care for great looking flowers year after year.
There are two types of flowering bulbs; spring-flowering and summer-flowering. I’m going to focus solely on spring-flowering bulbs.
Spring-bulbs flower from as early as the end of winter until the middle of June. The start of a bulbs’ life is the best way to ensure amazing looking flowers.
Here are my garden design tips for best looking flowering bulbs;
Purchase your bulbs just prior to planting.
Pick the largest bulb in the variety you’ve chosen because it will be the most mature and produce the healthiest flower.
Plant the bulb six weeks before the 1st frost at a depth of 3 times the bulb’s width.
Remember to fertilize the bulb hole with specific bulb fertilizer
Ensure soil is well drained and modify with compost if necessary.
Plant with root side down and cover with mulch to even out soil temperature and moisture.
Bulbs (and most flowers in general) look best when planted in groupings or clumps of the same variety.
Determining if your chosen bulb is hardy or tender is very important. Hardy bulbs can be left in the ground winter after winter. Tender bulbs need to be dug up or ‘lifted’ and stored indoors for the winter then replanted each and every spring.
If you happen to live in zone 9 or 10 you need to pick your bulbs carefully. Bulbs need to be activated by going though a cold period followed by a warm growing season. In colder climates this is easily achieved by Mother Nature herself. Plant the bulbs in the fall and let winter do the job. For the warmer zones, you need to do Mother Nature’s job by placing the bulbs in a breathable mesh bag and placing that bag in the fridge. After the required number of weeks, simply plant the bulbs as instructed.