Home & Garden Gardening

Guide to Planting Bulbs

    Time Frame

    • The best time to plant spring bulbs depends on your area's climate. According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, it's best to plant bulbs in the autumn, when the weather is cool. Tender bulbs, such as gladiolus and dahlia, cannot survive cold winter weather and must be planted in the spring.

    Site Selection

    • The University of Illinois Extension recommends well-drained soil for bulbs and advises gardeners to add compost or peat moss to loosen clay soils. Bulbs vary in their preferences for sun or shade, so choose a site in accordance with the particular species' preference. Don't forget that areas that may be shaded when you plant in the fall may be full or partial sun when flowers emerge in the spring because tree foliage has not yet developed.

    Planting Depth

    • Spring bulbs should be planted at a depth two or three times the height of the bulb, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Summer bulbs vary in their needs, so consult the planting materials that come with the bulbs. Place the root plate downward in the hole and cover the bulb with soil.

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