Fall is the perfect time to get a head start on your spring blooms. If you want a fabulous garden next spring, you should be planting bulbs in the ground in November!
Dreaming of a bright and colorful spring garden? Then now is the time to start! You have to keep an eye on the weather when planning out your spring flowers, though. Bulbs should be planted before the ground freezes, to give them a chance to settle in. Whether you want tulip beds for a pop of color or a rambling patch for fresh flower arrangements, the clock is ticking, so get busy!
Here are some of the classic spring flowers that do well in our growing zone.
These tiny flowers are your first burst of color each spring, often popping up through melting snow. They don't have to be dug in deep—about 4 inches will do for these small bulbs. Just use a thick stick to make your planting hole and backfill with garden soil. Be sure to plant some near your front door or driveway so you see them make their early appearance.
These don't make great cut flowers, given their tiny stems. Just let them hang out in the yard and enjoy their cheerful blossoms.
One of the coolest things about daffodils is how some of them spread on their own. Naturalizing daffodil varieties multiply in drifts year after year so you want to start them out where they have room to ramble. If you want a no-muss-no-fuss patch of daffodils, you'll want to order the following variety bulbs: Rijenveld's Early Sensation, Barrett Browning, Tete a Tete, Mount Hood, Ice Follies, Professor Einstein, Actaea, and Cheerfulness. In addition to the standard single daffodils, double daffs are an explosion of petals (try Golden Ducat or Peach Cobbler).
Daffodils make excellent cut flowers and can even be picked while in bud. Open blossoms will last a few days before drying out.
Tulips are, without a doubt, the most extravagant flowers in the garden. It's not your imagination, though—those tulips you planted a few years ago are gone, despite doing so well last year. Tulips rebloom at different rates, varying by type and soil conditions. Newer hybrids are less likely to rebloom consistently, so stick to classic, old-fashioned varieties. Ruffled parrot tulips and double tulips can be scattered among your standard tulips for an interesting textural contrast.
Tulips are great in flower arrangements, though they tend to droop if you cut the stems too long. Make sure they have plenty of water to keep them perky!
How to Plant Bulbs
Every type of bulb will have different planting instructions. Be sure to check the packaging for exact planting depths and sun/shade requirements. Spring flowers fall into three categories: early, mid-season, and late. Plant a variety of each to ensure beautiful flowers throughout the entire spring.
When determining placement, keep in mind that you can layer your bulbs in a single area. This saves time and space for those with smaller gardens. No outdoor planting space? Hang on to those bulbs and force them in pots or vases for a colorful indoor display.
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Pexels.
What do you plant each fall to ensure a beautiful spring? Do you order online or shop locally for your bulbs? Let us know in the comments!