Prepare your Bulb Garden

Autumn is still a couple weeks away, beginning on Thursday, September 22nd. However, it's a good time of year to plan ahead for your spring garden. Rather than lament the end of summer, use the next couple weekends to get out into your yard to plan some color for next year.


Scope out your garden. Choose the right location in your landscape; preferably an area that gets full sun, at least six hours each day. Think about which flowers you'd like to see next spring in your garden. In addition to tulips and daffodils, consider some less-common bulbs for variety and interest, like the snake's head fritillary (fritillaria Meleagris), Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), or the snowflake flower (Leucojum aestivum).


Measure and calculate how many bulbs you need. Plants need to be spaced so they are pleasing to the eye when they bloom, but they also need to be spaced far enough apart to keep them from competing for water and nutrients.


Large bulbs such as tulips and daffodils should be spaced six inches apart, so you'll need about five bulbs per square foot. Space smaller bulbs such as crocus and grape hyacinth or miniature daffodils four inches apart. You'll need eight small bulbs per square foot of garden fro those.


Shop now. Even if you don't plan to plant for a few weeks, now is the time to look for bulbs. Waiting until the last minute could mean that your local garden center is sold out of the variety you want. Look for plump, firm bulbs and avoid ones that feel soft and mushy or extremely dry. Within the same variety, select the largest bulbs available as they tend to bloom better than smaller ones. Shopping now also means that if the variety you want is not available locally, you might still have time to place an order. While you're shopping, add fertilizer to your list so that it's on hand when it's time to plant.



References

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2019, Sept. 20). Tip of the Week: Plant now for spring. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email

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