Planting Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms

Planting bulbs in the fall can take little time and effort and in Spring you can enjoy even more blooms. When the overnight temperatures start dropping and the ground starts to cool is when your bulbs should go into the ground. Around  50° overnights. If you buy your bulbs before this time, which it fine, store them around 60 to 65 degrees F. in a dry area.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing bulbs:

  1. Bloom Time – Read the labels of bulbs to see when they are expected to bloom and you can plant for a succession of blooms through the Spring into Summer. Check out the Farmers’ Almanac graph of when fall planting bulbs are expected to bloom as well as soil type, sun requirements, depth of planting, and locations they are good for.
  2. Where to Plant – First off, wherever you plant, make sure it is well-draining. Bulbs don’t like wet feet or else they may rot.  Planting in groups if you have more room is good idea with bulbs like Tulips and Scilla. They look great in groups of at least 12.  Also, consider adding them to areas where you already have perennial plants to fill in spots. They will brighten that area and then the ripening bulb foliage will be camouflaged by the perennial plants. Cornell University actually did tests with planting bulbs with other perennials to see how they looked. Click here to see the results! Also, check the lighting requirements for each bulb but most need Sun/Part Sun. **In Spring the foliage on trees may not be filled in yet depending on the tree and you may have more places to plant than you think. By the time the foliage on the trees fill in your bulb will be finishing up its blooming cycle.**
  3. Bloom Colors – You could want a certain color repeated throughout your yard with one color like white, purple, pink. Or if you want to dive into color combinations you can go back to what we learned in art class and use color schemes! Analogous, complementary, monochromatic, and split complementary colors are color schemes that you can build with flowers and other plants!


Fall Bulbs that will be available:

Allium – purple pom poms atop wand-like stems.
Crocus – very early color. Some even bloom in snow!
Daffodil (Narcissus) – sunny yellows and white. These are great in groups. Great for forcing.
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) – purple or pink.
Hyacinth – fragrance that will stop you in your tracks! White, pink, purple. Great for forcing.
Tulip – Huge variety of colors, sizes and bloom times. Have a ball! Great for forcing.

*What is forcing?- Forcing means that you can force these bulbs to bloom in late winter by tricking them that they have gone through their winter cycle and grow them inside!*