Now is the time to plan for that spring bulb garden to be sure of weeks of gorgeous color.
There are hundreds of varieties and combinations awaiting your pleasure.
Beginning with the so-called minor bulbs, such as crocus, scums, and snowdrops, continuing with a wide range of daffodils and a selection of fragrant hyacinths, you can climax this flowering period with the versatile tulip.
Considerations For Bulb Planting
Estimated Number Of Bulbs And Their Quality
The first consideration is estimating how many bulbs to plant.
If you have taken up your last year’s bulbs, these should be carefully inspected and only the larger ones replanted in beds or borders.
The smaller bulbs can be used in an out-of-the-way corner or in a cutting garden to provide blooms for the house.
When it comes to securing additional supplies, your local dealer can assist you in the selection of varieties. First, however, one must be certain of a good quality product.
Early Ordering And Suitable Storage
Early ordering is also essential to be certain of the best selection. If your bulbs arrive before planting, open the bags to allow air circulation.
In fact, it would be advisable to place them in open containers, provided the labels are not mixed.
A garage or other cool place will offer suitable storage.
Ideal Planting Location
Another important consideration is where to plant to obtain those pictures of loveliness in catalogs and gardening magazines.
Bulbs feel at home in almost any well-drained soil, but their full value is often lost through the improper arrangement.
The minor bulbs are at their best when naturalized under trees or planted in small groups where they can be left undisturbed yearly.
Daffodils are easily adaptable to the rock garden, the perennial border, the shrubbery border, and the informal path garden.
Their special charm is revealed when they are broadcast in drifts in a naturalized fashion.
Hyacinths can be used formally in beds or borders to carry out symmetrical designs and in small groups.
Tulips are unsurpassed for balanced color arrangements in special gardens and grouping in the mixed flower or shrubbery border, and in the case of those wonderful species types, they are ideal for the rock garden.
All these bulbs are so easy to grow because the embryo flower has been pre-formed by the bulb grower, leaving nature to do the rest.
Nevertheless, they do respond to treatment and care.
Deep Planting And Ideal Soil
The smaller bulbs do not require as deep planting: snowdrops, crocus, Scilla sibirica, and chionodoxas need 3” inches.
Scilla campanulata and grape hyacinths need to be about 4” inches deep and the same distance apart.
Daffodils used for naturalizing may be scattered over the woodland area and planted 5” to 7” inches deep where they fall.
Usually, wooded areas have a high humus content, ensuring the proper amount of moisture to guarantee the long life of the plantings.
Daffodils for the rock garden, or as individual clumps in the foundation plantings, may be carefully placed out in a pattern on the surface after the soil has been dug out to a depth of 7” inches, then covered with the original topsoil.
Daffodils do require ample supplies of water during the growing season.
The same procedure may be followed for hyacinths that require thoroughly drained soil. It is wise to mulch in colder regions after the soil has frozen.
Tool Aids For Planting
Species, or rock garden tulips, should be planted with a trowel.
A dibble is not advisable as it may leave pockets below the bulb’s base.
Other types of tulips can be planted with a trowel for small groups. The top 6″ to 8″ inches in larger beds or borders should be removed and set to one side.
Bone meal or other decayed manure can be sprinkled over the leveled surface.
The bulbs should then be set in a pattern from 5″ to 6″ inches apart and covered with the original topsoil.
If tulips were grown in the same area a previous year, it would be a precaution if fresh soil is used for covering.
Bulbs can be planted until frost hardens the ground. Unfortunately, gardeners often delay until too late and thus lose the opportunity until another year.
If you wish to add the extraordinary color that only bulbs can bring, plan to plant your garden pictures early in the Fall.
44659 by Margaret Herbst