Foundatin with Tulips, Curb Appeal

What You Need To Know About Bulbs

Bulbs are the harbingers of spring. Seeing the cheerful colors of crocus, grape hyacinths and daffodils popping up through the snow-covered ground lets you know that warm, sunny days will soon be here. Now is the time to purchase bulbs for the best selection and plant any time before Christmas. Planting bulbs is fun and easy to do.

Here are eight secrets to success:

  • Most bulbs need eight to 12 weeks of cool, moist conditions prior to flowering. For best results, be sure to plant your bulbs before Christmas.
  • Most bulbs will thrive in full sun or part shade. Don’t forget that most trees will not be leafed out when bulbs bloom in the spring.
  • Plant bulbs in small or large groupings of six or more of the same type of flower for an eye-catching display. Bulbs also look great when they’re randomly scattered throughout natural areas.
  • If squirrels, chipmunks or voles are a problem, spray your bulbs with Repels-All before planting. Adding PermaTill to the soil when you’re planting will both improve drainage and deter voles.
  • Place the bulbs into the holes with the top of the bulb (usually slightly pointed) pointing up. If you have difficulty in deciding which end should go up or down, you can usually count on the base of the bulb being wider than the top. When it’s impossible to distinguish top from bottom, plant the bulbs on their sides.
  • Bulbs should be planted two to three times deeper than the width of the bulb. For example, a tulip that is 3” wide is planted 6” deep. We recommend mixing Merrifield Planting Mix and Merrifield Starter Plant Food with your existing soil to improve drainage and fertility. Water thoroughly after planting.
  • Apply two to three inches of pine bark mulch to help keep moisture in the ground and protect the bulbs during the winter.
  • After your bulbs have bloomed, you can deadhead the flowers, but don’t trim the leaves. The leaves will continue growing for several weeks as the bulb stores up food for next year’s blooms. Eventually, the leaves will begin to yellow and fade, and can then be removed.