How to Best Plant Bulbs – Step by Step Instructions

Step 1:

Loosen all the soil in your planting bed to a depth of at least 8 inches. Remove any weeds, twigs, rocks, leaves or other debris. Now’s the time you can mix in compost, other organic matter—even a slow releasing fertilizer if you know that your soil lacks adequate nutrients.

Step 2:

Depending on the bulb, follow all recommendations on the labels of your bulbs for planting depth. As a general rule, plant larger bulbs about 8 inches deep and small bulbs about 5 inches deep. Always set the bulb in the hole pointy side up or the roots down. It’s easy to spot the pointy end of a tulip. It’s more challenging with crocus bulbs. If by chance you have difficulty figuring out which end is the bottom—then plant the bulb on its side. God’s design is amazing … even if you don’t get it right, the flower bulb will still find its way topside. Plant bulbs in clusters. If you plant one bulb alone, or make a long thin line along the walk, the impact of color will be significantly less. Clusters will give you a concentration of color. Even if you don’t have enough bulbs for a large bed of flowers, remember small clusters can also provide a dramatic spring flair.

Step 3:

Now that your bulbs are planted, back fill with soil over the hole, lightly compress the soil but do not pack it. Water to stimulate root growth. However, there is no need to water continuously unless you live in an area with low precipitation in the winter months. Too much watering and they might rot.


Aftercare in the Spring

Fertilizing: For bulbs that are intended to consistently return for several years … or for bulbs that are coming into their second year, spread an organic fertilizer such as compost, or a slow release bulb food on top of your soil. This will ensure a healthier plant & bloom.

Pruning: When your flowers have completed blooming, cut each flower head off just below the former mentioned bloom head—but do not cut the foliage. Bulbs will use the foliage to gather nutrients from the sun and store for the following seasons. Once the foliage has turned to a yellow or brown you can cut them back at ground level.

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