Charting how to plant bulbs in the Fall

Tue. Sep. 29, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Charting how to plant bulbs in the Fall:

As I teased you with tantalizing tulips and other Fall planted bulbs yesterday, I wanted to share the ins and outs of planting the various types of bulbs. Another 2020 introduction by Brecks below:

Tulip ‘Estella Rijnveld’ by Brecks

First, remember to check to see what your local nurseries have to offer before you place an order. The catalogs, however, DO offer a wider variety than some of our local shops so if you don’t see what you want, that is an alternative.  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.  A little surface mold is fine but making sure there are no gushy areas is essential.

I took a trip to a local garden center, Gertens, and found a lot of beautiful bulbs… this is what they should look like!

tulip bulbs – Gertens by Teri Knight

And some daffodils…

healthy bulbs photo by Teri Knight

More on planting bulbs from the University of MN Ext.

Moldy bulbs, photo from All the Dirt on Gardening – you can see some rot beginning… I would send these back

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.

bulbs, rhizomes, tubers, corms

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 at the appropriate level. Read the directions! Here’s a great chart

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.  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 or preferred, try Plantskydd. for squirrels.  I really like this product for detering rabbits in my vegetable garden. It’s easy to use (I prefer the granular) and it’s safe for people and pets!