If there’s one thing the Midwest does well, it’s fall. With dropping temperatures and blooming mums, it’s hard not to get excited for the season. We can practically taste the pumpkin spice lattes now! But as excited as we are here at Casey’s, there is something else on our minds…
That’s right; it’s not all mums, pumpkins, gourds, and ornamental kale and cabbage here. Fall is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs.
So what are bulbs?
Bulbs are defined as any plant that keeps its complete life cycle in an underground storage structure. Spring bulbs are the varieties that are winter hardy – meaning that they do not have to be dug up in the during the winter months. Tulips, Daffodils, Iris, and Crocus are great for spring color in our zone.
So how do you plant bulbs?
Bulbs need well-draining soil. If you have soil with high clay content add compost, peat moss, or some other organic matter. To keep your bulbs happy and healthy in the same flower bed year after year, add some bulb fertilizer. Optimum PH balance is 6 to 7. Once your soil is prepared, dig a hole about 2-3 times as deep as the bulb is tall. Most bulbs will have instructions on how deep and how far apart to plant them. Place the bulb in the hole pointy side up with the roots facing down. Fill in the hole and then water it to make sure the bulbs stay in place. With these simple steps, you’ll have a beautiful flower garden once spring rolls around again.
- To prevent squirrels or other wildlife from digging up your bulbs, you can cover your bulbs with a layer of chicken wire then cover them up with dirt.
- Make sure the bulbs you’ve picked are winter hardy for zone 5.
- Plant bulbs before the ground freezes.
- Plan accordingly based on how much sun the area gets. Many flowering bulbs will want 6+ hours of sun during the spring. If you have a shady garden you may want to try Snowdrops, Scilla, or another variety of shade tolerant bulbs.
Bulbs are an easy way to add color to any landscape. With a little planning now, you can have a beautiful flower garden at the first signs of spring!