Why Do We Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs in The Fall?
How to plant your Fall bulbs and when should they be planted in the Fall? No sooner than your area’s first frost date after the first frost has arrived, your window to plant will remain open until the ground freezes, which usually comes several weeks later.
In Fall, the soil is still warm enough to promote early root growth, but not quite warm enough to stimulate bulbs into sprouting prematurely. When spring-flowering bulbs put out roots, their physical composition changes.
They become able to withstand the winter freeze. However, if those same bulbs were planted into the frozen ground, they would not have the chance to root and would not develop a tolerance for freezing.
In some of the warmer climates, you may need to pre-cool some of your bulbs. Most Fall bulbs require a 12-16 week cold period in ventilated packages in the bottom of your refrigerator at 40-50 ºF before planting.
Great Gift Idea
Bulbs are available everywhere in the Fall, including garden centers, catalogs, and mail-order suppliers The advantage to purchasing your bulbs locally is that you can pick them out individually.
That’s important because you want the largest, firmest bulbs. They will generally perform better and have a superior display. Look for firmness, which indicates a healthy fresh bulb, and avoid any bulb that feels soft or mushy.
Choose planting areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight in spring and summer.
Fall Bulb Planting Chart
|Common Name||Zone||Spacing (in)||Depth (in)|
|Glory of the snow||3-9||3||3|
|Star of Bethlehem||5-10||2-5||4|
How to Prepare Your Bulbs?
Generally, bulbs are planted at a depth about three times as deep as the bulb is tall. Position the bulbs 4-5 inches apart. Most bulbs have an obvious pointed end, which should face the sky. The other end is usually wider and has tiny root hairs.
Cover with soil and water thoroughly. Follow the above chart for directions. Apply mulch on top of the soil approx. 2-5 cm.
Irises are an exception here. In fact, irises grow from rhizomes rather than bulbs — though the rhizomes are often called bulbs anyway. Iris rhizomes should be planted flat with the top half exposed. Never cover up the rhizomes with soil or mulch.
After Flowering the plants must be allowed to remain to soak up the sunshine and replenish their stored energy. Within a few weeks, the foliage will wither and die down.
Choosing Deer-Resistant Bulbs
To save yourself the trouble of treating bulbs or treating foliage to deter deer, rabbits, voles, squirrels, and other critters, choose deer-resistant flowers. The bulbs themselves and the flowers are distasteful to animals. They are naturally bitter to resist predators.
|Cornish Lily (Nerine)||Naked Lady Lily(Amaryllis belladonna)|
|Crinum||Naked Lady (Lycorissquamigera)|
|Daffodil (Narcissus)||Snowdrops (Galanthus)|
|Grape Hyacinth||Squill (Scilla)|
I hope this article has helped you in your fall planting and I hope you enjoy your amazing show in early Spring.