Bursting to plant bulbs

Thu. Aug. 31, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Bursting to plant bulbs

Fall is around the corner…. yes, I said it OUT LOUD!

My email inbox is inundated with choices for Fall bulb planting.    I’m an advocate of buying locally first.  See what your local nurseries have to offer before you place an order.  The catalogs DO offer a wider variety than some of our local stores so if you don’t see what you want, then by all means use those other resources.  However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good product.

When your bulbs arrive, inspect them immediately.  Your bulbs, rhizomes, and corms should be firm.

Bulbs – tulips in great shape

A little surface mold is fine but making sure there are no gushy areas is essential.  If you detect a bad odor or discover some mushy parts, then rush to your phone and call the company.  Any reputable nursery will exchange them.  This goes for bulbs you bought locally too.

It’s important to plant your bulbs right away giving them time to establish before winter sets in.  If you must, they can be stored for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry place with the bag open to allow air circulation.  Any longer than that and odds are you won’t have good luck.  Plant your bulbs according to the instructions given.  Here’s a guideline:

Most bulbs flower best in full sun, early bloomers can be planted under deciduous trees since they won’t leaf out before the flowers appear.  Although don’t bother to plant them under a Black Walnut tree, it produces toxic juglone that kills many plants.

tulip, muscari and daffodil

After planting your bulbs, water them in.  You won’t see anything above ground till next Spring but don’t forget them.  If there’s been no rain, give them a drink.

To deter squirrels, lay some chicken wire over the area.  If that’s not practical, then remember last week’s Garden Bite on bad tasting bulbs!  I dislike mushrooms, I know, people think I’m weird.  While that may be true, I digress.  The bad tasting bulbs to the critters are like mushrooms to me.  I avoid them!

tulips and hyacinths