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spring bulb

Guide to growing spring bulbs

Once the winter is finally over, spring bulbs begin to bloom adding lots of color after the cold and gloomy winters. Fall is the perfect time to grow your spring bulbs, so that they are ready to bloom once the spring comes. Here is how to grow your spring bulbs, and some tips and tricks to ensure you will have a perfect bloom.

spring bulb

Picking the right species for your region:

It is very important that you pick the right species for your region. If you are in zones 3-8 you should be able to plant most of the classic bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. These bulbs require a cold chilling period for up to 16 weeks before spring blooming. Which is why it is important that you plant the right bulbs for your region. If you are in a warmer region you can artificially chill the bulbs or you can choose a late blooming bulb such as amaryllis or anemones. As well, avoid choosing bulbs that look old, mouldy or in general not as healthy. Using larger bulbs will produce more flowers than smaller bulbs.

Plant at the right time:

Spring bulbs are usually planted in the fall, however, it is also important to know approximately when in the fall your spring bulbs need to be planted. The temperature and soil conditions in September are very different than in November. The right time to plant depends on the species of the spring bulbs, as well as your region. However, if you are still unsure when to plant, most bulbs can be planted once the temperature reaches below 50ºF.

spring potted bulbs

Choosing the right location:

Choosing a location for your bulbs depends on their needs, make sure the soil has good drainage, and that the bulbs are able to get enough sunlight. Also keep in mind that bulbs look best when planted in clumps, or in larger groups which gives them a more natural look.

How to plant spring bulbs:

  1. Plant the bulbs deeper than their diameter. This should be around 5-8 inches deep.
  2. Plant the bulbs right side up. Most bulbs have an obvious upside, if you’re still unsure plant them on their side, and the stems will naturally find their way to the surface.
  3. Make sure you mark where you planted your bulbs, by leaving a small marker near where you have planted them.
  4. Right after planting, water your bulbs, this will help remove any air pockets in the soil.
  5. During the growing season, water your bulbs no more than once a week, during the fall and winter you should only worry about watering your bulbs if it is a very dry season.
  6. Once your bulbs have flowered and the foliage has dried up, cut the flower stalks to ground level. Only do this when they are completely dried up, and not when they are still green. Cutting them while they are still green will not allow the bulb to photosynthesize to produce next year’s flowers.
yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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