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.

Things to consider when you’re planting bulbs:

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.  We love this bulb bloom graph from Netherland Bulb Company to show the planting depth and bloom time of fall planted bulbs. fall bulb planting bloom times and depths


Where to Plant – First, make sure the soil is well-draining. Bulbs don’t like wet feet or else they may rot. Add amendments like compost or top soil to heavy clay soils. Try not to plant in low lying areas where water pools and stays wet for awhile.

Layout –  When you are envisioning your garden, think about the bulbs planted in groups. Bulbs like Tulips and Hyacinth look great in large groupings. Also, consider adding them to areas where you already have perennial plants to fill in bare spots. They will brighten that area and then the ripening bulb foliage will be camouflaged by other herbaceous perennials and shrubs.  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.**

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!

List of Fall Bulbs at Drummers:

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!*

Cornell University actually did tests with planting bulbs with other perennials to see how they looked. Click here to see the results!