Plant Tulip Bulbs: Spring Gardening Begins This Fall

Plant tulip bulbs now in your garden for that spring show that signals the end of winter.

crocus-orange-monarch

Crocus orange monarch New Bulb for 2012

There are many great new spring flowering bulbs available this fall, including new crocus, new daffodils and of course new tulips. I’ll provide a list of new varieties at the end of this article. First, let’s get down to how to do the planting most effectively.

The Plan:

Now before you jump into planting the daffodil bulbs you just brought home, it really is important to stand back and plan out what you want your garden to look like. Are you after the formal look of daffodil bulbs bordering the walking paths of your house? Or are you after a more intricate effect? You can plant different coloured tulip bulbs to make designs, patterns, or masses in curving rows. You can also create an informal design with random crocuses or daffodil bulbs inter-planted through your garden beds in singles or in clumps of bulbs. It is important that you think about the colours you want and the height to make sure that you display the tallest bulb flowers at the back, leaving sight lines open to the smaller bulb flowers.

tulip landscape orange

Tulip landscape orange

Once you have prepared your plan, then you need to prepare your garden beds. This is your chance to clean up the area of weeds and debris and work the soil. Tulip bulbs and all bulbs for that matter like to be planted in well-drained, loose soil. This is when I like to add organic matter and sand to the garden beds and work it in a little.

 

The Planting:

Okay, you have your design plan on paper, your beds are clean and prepared, now we are ready to plant our bulbs. The planting depths for bulbs really varies. Small bulbs such as crocuses and snowdrops are planted at a depth of 3”-4” below the soil. Hyacinths are 4”-6” deep, Daffodil bulbs 8”, Gladiolus 4”-6”, and standard Tulip bulbs 4”-6”.  The rule of thumb for planting bulbs is to take your bulb and plant it at a depth equal to 2-3 times its height.

When planting, use your hand trowel to dig in to the soil, pulling the soil to the side of your hole.  Place your bulbs tip-up in the hole. If you are using squirrel cages, place them over the bulb and cover everything with soil. You can either buy wire cages at your local garden centre, or make them yourself using chicken wire.

Once the tulips bulbs and daffodil bulbs that are planted in the fall have been planted, I really like to cover the planting area with a good layer of decomposed mulch. The decomposed bark mulch protects the new bulbs from cold weather and gradually enriches the soil as it breaks down.

Remember to water the bulbs in when you’re done and that’s it! Sit back and watch as your garden brings it big time with a spectacular garden show next season.

New Bulbs for Fall 2012:

tulip white emperor

Tulip white emperor

Tulip White Emperor. Fragrant, creamy-white flowers, early flowering, 11-12cm size bulbs

Tulip Landscape Orange. Tangerine blooms, mid-spring bloom, 12+cm bulb size

Tulip Apricot Foxx. Soft peach blooms with darker flames, mid-spring, grows to 45cm/ 18 inches in height

Narcissus Mount Hood (Daffodil). White petals and trumpet, mid-late spring flowering, 12-14cm size bulbs

 

 

tulip apricot-foxx

Tulip apricot foxx

Crocus Orange Monarch. Orange-yellow with bronze flames, early spring blooms, 10cm/4 inches in height

Thanks for reading and if you have any further questions or would like a free estimate for planting tulip bulbs in your garden, please fill out the estimate form in the sidebar.

narcissus_mount_hood

Narcissus mount hood

About Jessica Salvador

Jessica has spent over ten years in the landscaping industry in nursery production, landscape maintenance and garden centre sales. She graduated in 2002 from the highly recognized horticulture program at Capilano University as a Certified Landscape Horticulturist. Higher Ground Gardens, your West Side Vancouver gardening and landscaping professionals for hedge trimming, pruning, bark mulch delivery, yard clean up, and on going gardening and landscaping maintenance. Gardening Vancouver, The Garden Pro's to call from Spring through Fall.
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