In the fall as your garden begins to wind down for the year, it's always fun to do a little bit more planting before the first snowfall. One of the nice things about spring bulbs is that you buy and plant spring flowering bulbs at the end of the summer growing season.
Because they are self-contained, bulbs can live in several different types of soil. The most important caveat for bulbs is to be sure that you plant them in an area with good drainage. Although bulbs need water, those planted in poorly drained soil will rot before they get the chance to bloom.
A common question that many first-time bulb growers ask is, "Which end goes up?"
You may be unfamiliar with flower bulbs, but you probably have seen onions and fresh garlic, which are also bulb plants. The tops of flower bulbs are often pointed, but even if they are rounded, dry root growth at the bottom of the bulb looks the same as the roots of your vegetable bulbs. You, of course, plant your bulbs root side down!
Begin planting spring flowering bulbs shortly after you purchase them in September or early October, approximately six weeks before the ground freezes. Plant bulbs in well-prepared soil in depths according to bulb size.
The rule of thumb for planting bulbs is to plant them two and a half times deeper than they are around. Typically this means, if you have large bulbs, you should be planting them 6 to 7 ½" deep. Plant small bulbs approximately 2 to 2 1/2" deep.
Bulb planters come in handy for planting bulbs to cover large areas. To produce a clumping effect in a small area, dig a wide, deep hole and plant up to ten bulbs together, just being sure that they don't touch each other. Cover the bulbs with soil, water deeply, and you're on your way to reveal the surprises of your first spring flowering bulb garden!