Fall bulb planting

Wed. Aug. 29, 2018

Click below to listen to my  2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Fall bulb planting

Wowzer…  it’s already nearing Fall!  I do love Fall.  I am also inundated with tantalizing new tulips and all things bulbs!

Tulip ‘Infinity’ by White flower Farm

Don’t those look like they should be in a wedding!!!!  Hey Glenn….  he’s a friend who operates The Gardens of Castle Rock with his wife, Michelle!

I’m an advocate of buying locally first.  See what your local nurseries have to offer before you place an order.  The catalogs, such as White flower Farm, 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.

Tulip ‘Liva’ by White Flower Farm

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 if there are any gushy areas, any place where the mold has penetrated the bulb – ask for an exchange or refund.  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.

Moldy bulbs, photo from All the Dirt on Gardening

While the above gardener attempted to bleach with in a 1% bleach solution and used a fungicide.  I would get my money back….

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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,check out tomorrow’s Garden Bite on bad tasting bulbs!

Tulip collection ‘Tutti Fruiti’ 2018 by Dutch Grown