If you’re a flower person, you’ll do just about anything to extend the colorful season to enjoy plants in bloom and a riot of color in your gardens. Doing any work now may sound odd, seeing that this is the start of the gloomy season of late fall, when most plants have died back, skies are grey, and the hint of winter is in the air.
But this is the best time to plant bulbs!
That’s right. When you’re cold, the squirrels are cold and done foraging for nuts and seeds, and even the top layer of ground is getting a little stiff and cold, that’s exactly when you want to be out in your garden. We start planting after Halloween with a goal to finish by Thanksgiving. BUT…I have planted well after the holiday season. I have even planted bulbs in January!! So wintertime still works to plant if you can get a shovel in the ground. Remember – you are planting them as a storage method. They are going in, and going to sleep in the cold soil. THEN, when the spring comes, the frost thaws, the moisture returns, and the soils warm up, that is when they start growing.
While bulb planting is certainly not an exercise in instant gratification, it will brighten your days much earlier next season as some flowers start blooming as early as April 1st and as late as June 1st. It is worth a chilly day in the garden for all the spring glory to come.
Start by getting good bulbs. Many of the box stores stock the lowest grade and smallest size bulbs, often called “standard,” and can yield less than satisfactory results. If you buy from a better garden center or online – some place that might get their bulbs directly from Holland -- you can get top size bulbs. They may cost a little more, but the results are a lot better, serving up big, beautiful blooms.
Planting bulbs using professional planting tips.
Do your planting for the greater good.
By this I mean, now that you know how easy it is to plant bulbs, consider rounding up some friends, and don’t forget your kids, and planting bulbs in public places that could use a splash of color in the spring. It’s good for your soul, an awesome experience for children and great for the community.
Volunteers make easy work of planting 1500 bulbs
If you’ve been following this blog, you may remember our story about the Straw Hat Park in Medfield – a beautiful little pocket park that was “reclaimed” from a piece of town-owned property that had fallen into disuse. We were able to convince the town to buy 1500 bulbs with the promise that we would get volunteers to plant them for free.
Using the very same tips I just gave you, 15 sets of volunteer hands were able to plant all those bulbs in a little under two hours! Next spring, the entire community will reap the benefits of this little labor of love when all those flowers burst forth in all their glory.
Now that’s the power of positive planting.
Plus, volunteer planting days usually come with free coffee (thanks Starbucks!) and baked goods (thanks Jean Mineo)!
Enjoying a delicious snack mid-planting!
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