BULBS – Fall is the Time to Think of Spring

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While the summer days were hot and humid, you did not mind viewing the fruit of your gardening labors from inside (with the air conditioner running).  Now the days are starting to cool off; mornings and evenings are pleasant again.

Just when you need an excuse to go out and play in your garden – it’s Fall Bulb Planting Time!

Bulbs planted in fall can make your spring pop early, and give you a break from winter’s drab colors.  I enjoy watching the snowfall from inside the house with a book and hot coco as much as the next person, but seeing flowers popping up out of the snow makes me feel warm and toasty.

Try these basic bulbs if you are just starting out:

  • Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) – are reliably perennial, and a high alkaloid content keeps the squirrels away.  They are regularly seen peeking out of some shallow snow bank.
  • Crocus (Crocus spp.) – have the same general attributes as daffodils, but if you have lots of squirrels be cautious.  Perhaps mix some crocus and daffodil bulbs to deter squirrels.
  • Tulips (Tulip spp.) – have endless variety in color and pattern. They should be treated as annuals in this area.  As with crocus, keep an eye out for ravenous squirrels…

There are many other bulbs to choose from; here are a few that do well here in VA:

  • Anemones (Anemone spp.)
  • Iris (Iris spp.)
  • Winter Aconite (Eranthis spp.)
  • Grape Hyacinth (Muscari spp.)
  • Fritillaria (Fritillaria spp.)
  • Bluebells (Hyacinthoides spp.)

Bulb planting is an easy gardening project for fall. Picture the results you are looking for in spring as you plant them:

  • Clusters around the base of deciduous shrubs
  • Drifts along the edge of a summer flower bed
  • Random plants spaced out in the lawn

No matter the effect you are working for remember to:

  • Plant bulbs at a depth of about three times the bulb width
  • Plant the pointy end up, or on the side if in doubt
  • Give them well drained soil and water

Enjoy looking for your early color next spring!

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Photo by Bill Mauzy
bulb-planting
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This iStock image was downloaded on 4-12-06 for HSW: TREASURY OF GARDENING

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This blog was brought to you by J.W. Townsend employee and certified horticulturist, Brandi Mc.
Featured photo by Bill Mauzy.

 

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