Planting Spring Flower Bulbs

Planting spring flower bulbs can be done at several times of the year.

Spring Planting

You can plant flower bulbs such as tulips in the garden in the spring of the year if you have one of two things: either a pre-chilled bulb or a bulb that is already growing in a pot that can be transplanted.

Because flower garden bulbs such as tulips and daffodils require 12 weeks of cold temperatures to make them bloom, just planting a dormant bulb (like the one you forgot to plant last fall) :-) will not give you flowers. You need to buy bulbs that have been chilled so they'll bloom for you.

Potted Bulbs

You can also carefully remove the bulbs from potted plants (don't disturb the soil around the roots or the rootball at all) and insert the soil mass into the garden so the level of the garden soil is the same as the level of the pot-soil. The bulbs will not know they've been moved.

This is a great little trick for instant decorating if you have guests coming.

Do note though that a late frost will knock those bulb flowers right off the stems - it will ruin them because they have not been hardened off to outside, natural conditions.

Fall Planting

Fall is the traditional time for planting spring flower bulbs. With the increasing length of the fall season and the delay of winter, I'm adjusting my bulb planting time to later and later. I do not want to put my bulbs in too early so they'll start growing before winter. This will kill off the buds or even kill the bulbs themselves.

I now plant my fall planted bulbs towards the middle to end of October. This means that they'll have at least one month in the ground before serious freezeup to set in their roots. And they won't have enough time to both set roots and start growing before cold temperatures force them into dormancy.

In the spring, they're fine and send up their flowers.

But let me emphasize, if you start planting bulbs when the stores start selling them, you'll be very unhappy with the outcome as the bulbs may start growing and then not produce blooms in the spring.

So you get the maximum effect of planting spring flower bulbs with pre-chilled bulbs in the spring or regular bulbs later in the fall for best success.

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