After a long, harsh winter, there are very few things we look forward to more than the first signs of fresh life poking through our soil in spring. These jolly green sprouts usher in the warmer temperatures and call us to return to the gardens we’ve missed so much while the weather was less than pleasant. And they continue to do so throughout the season, in the depths of summer heat, right up until the arrival of autumn. However, in order to put on their spectacular season-long show, their planting must be as well-timed as the punchline of a joke.
When Should You Plant Bulbs?
When it comes to bulbs, there is no one definite time when all varieties should be planted. In fact, depending on when they flower, there are actually two planting seasons for bulbs - spring and fall.
Spring planted bulbs are summer-blooming varieties, like caladiums, dahlias, and gladiolus, that like to set their roots in warm soil. Coming from sunny, warm landscapes, they tend not to fare well when the mercury drops, resulting in an unfortunately disappointing display.
Fall planted bulbs are fall and spring-blooming varieties, like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses, that like to set their roots in cool soil. Usually coming from mountainous regions, where the blooming season is cool and the dormant season is hot, they grow best when exposed to the same environmental factors.
When to Plant Spring Bulbs
Spring-flowering bulbs are best planted in fall when the weather has cooled to an ideal 50-60℉. As they are used to a summer dormancy, they have a much harder time setting their roots when the temperatures are higher. However, the cooler temperatures allow them to settle in quickly and effectively - focusing their energy on growing down, not up - just before the freeze, so they are ready to burst into bloom once the thaw breaks and spring returns.
Spring bulbs can also still be planted in spring as soon as the ground is workable. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that when these bulbs are planted so late, they are much more likely to produce weak blooms or none at all. Bulbs need time to establish strong roots, and the more rooted they are, the more enthusiastic and vibrant the blooms will be, so the choice is up to you whether you’ll plant now or wait to plant in fall for next year.
When to Plant Summer Bulbs
Summer-flowering bulbs prefer a warm, sunny environment in which to set their roots and rock their blooms. So, to prevent any accidental fatal frostbite, they should be planted in spring only after the danger of frost has passed. If you still feel that telltale nip in the air, keep them inside in a cool (but not cold!) and dry place until you feel it’s safe to dig in.
As spring makes its way back to us - slowly, but surely - it only makes sense that we look forward to the telltale blooming marvels that come with it. To ensure top performance of your bulbs this season, though, a timely planting is key. To learn more about spring and fall planted bulbs or to order your own today, visit our online shop today!
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