Posted on Nov 05, 2020 | by KK
General bulb planting tips:
- Sometimes it can be hard to tell the top from the bottom of the bulb. If that bulb has a point, that's the top. If not, look for a circular ring on one side that is the area where the roots were growing--that is the bottom. If you still can't tell, in most cases it's best to plant the bulb on its side, as the leaves will still find their way up.
- Planting depth is generally 2-3 times the height of the bulb.
- Plant most bulbs 3 to 5 inches apart--the larger the bulb, the larger the space.
- You don't have to dig an individual hole for each bulb. It may be easier to dig out an area to the proper depth and space the bulbs properly within the larger area, then fill in.
- Do not put any fertilizer in the hole--even bone meal. You run the risk of burning the roots. Better to broadcast slow-release fertilizer over top.
- Squirrels are very attracted to bone meal and other fertilizers that contain it. Just don't use it if you don't want them messing around in your planting area. Very often squirrels may be burying food in any newly disturbed earth, and throwing your bulbs sideways is incidental.
- You can plant bulbs until the ground freezes. If the ground doesn't freeze where you are then the bulbs will not do well--spring blooming bulbs have a minimum chilling time specific to each type. You'll do better with spring-planted summer-blooming bulbs & tubers, like lilies, dahlias, caladiums, and cannas.
- I know it's annoying, but try to leave the bulb foliage until it dies back on its own--or at least until it is yellowed. If you really can't stand how it looks, try cutting the leaves back by half first and see if you can live with it. Plant perennials near them that will come up and hide that ugly foliage, like perennial geraniums, hostas, silver mound artemesia, baptisia, amsonia, or hardy hibiscus. Avoid perennials like daylilies that need to be divided frequently, as it will be difficult to do so with the bulbs underneath. Annuals like snapdragons, geraniums,or lantana will also do the trick.
- Most bulbs perform best in full sun. Early to mid-spring blooming bulbs will do fine under deciduous trees, though, since they'll be finished by the time the trees leaf out.
- Bulbs need to have well-drained soil, so don't plant extremely thirsty plants you'll need to water frequently in their vicinity.
- In most gardens, bulbs will look better and more natural planted in clusters rather than rows, unless you're the Smithsonian. If you're planting that many bulbs, rows work just fine!
- Deer and squirrel resistant bulbs include allium, daffodils, hyacinths and grape hyacinths, fritillaria, snowdrops, iris, camassia and crocus.