Fall Bulb Planting for Spring Blooms
Fall bulb planting is an easy way to jump-start the spring gardening season. At most elevations, the best time to plant bulbs is mid-September to late-October. Plant in time for bulb roots to establish before soils freeze at any location.
Purchasing bulbs in early September will allow for better selection and variety. Select bulbs that are large and free from disease or decay. Individually picking out bulbs can ensure higher quality.
Bulbs prefer sandy or clay loam soil. In general, bulbs should be planted at a depth of three to four times the diameter of the bulb. If planting in a sandy soil, plant two inches deeper. Small crocus bulbs should be planted more shallowly; large allium or daffodil bulbs will be planted more deeply.
Select a variety of bulbs that will provide a long-lasting show in spring. Many suppliers will indicate the bloom time (early, mid or late) and mature height. Choose bulbs of varying heights for each bloom time to prolong color and add interest to the spring garden.
After plants bloom in the spring, let the foliage die down naturally. The foliage provides energy to the bulb for next season’s bloom.
For more information on spring-blooming bulbs, see CSU Extension fact sheet 7.410, Fall-Planted Bulbs and Corms at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07410.html
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013