Each spring some of the first showings of colour come from bulbs planted in the fall. A little planning in this case goes a long way. Some bulbs can be forced in the spring but really it’s taking the hard road to a result that can be achieved with very little effort. Hardy bulbs like, crocus, tulips, hyacinth, and daffodils are all great to plant at this time of year so they can get settled for their long winter nap. Follow these simple steps to reap the rewards next spring, it’s hard to be patient but well worth it.

As we mentioned this time of year through to mid october is a great time to plant bulbs. Planning is easier when you can still see the full shape of your existing plants and planting now gives the bulbs an opportunity to properly chill before the first freezing. You should improve the soil by adding a blend of peat moss and composted manure. This is great for all your plants as they head into winter so consider this a double duty garden task. The rule of thumb is that bulbs should be planted so the base of the bulb rests at a depth that’s two-and-a-half times its diameter. If your soil is very loose or sandy, or if you have a problem with bushy tailed thieves you can safely plant up to two inches deeper.

Bulbs look better in clusters so planting them in groupings will give you maximum impact. Keep in mind most will prefer full sun so choose the right home for your new flora. Dig a winding trench or a single hole no wider than a dinner plate and toss them in. Here’s a good reference chart for spacing and depth.

Tulips
6-10 inches deep
5/ft2
Species Tulips
8-10 inches deep
8/ft2
Daffodils (squirrel repellent!) 
6-10 inches deep
4/ft2
Mini Daffodils
6-10 inches deep
7/ft2
Hyacinths
6-8 inches deep
5/ft2
Crocus, Small Frittilaria, Small Alliums
3-4 inches deep
10-15/ft2
Species Crocus, Snowdrops, Grape Hyacinths, Small Alliums
3-4 inches deep
15-20/ft2
Large Fritillaria
6-8 inches deep
3/ft2
Large Alliums (make great cut flowers!!)
6-8 inches deep
1-3/ft2
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