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How to plant a bulb

by dig the dirt editor

Spring's lush scenes of stately tulips and sunny daffodils get their start this fall, when bulbs are snuggled into planting beds for a long winter's nap. Best of all, planting bulbs is really one of gardening's easiest, most sure-to-succeed chores. So roll up your sleeves, grab your trowel, and get planting!

 

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the bulb hub

 

 

HOW TO PLANT A BULB

 

STEP 1:  Dig a hole

  • You want to bury your bulbs in soil to a depth that is roughly three times the height of the bulb.
  • Little bulbs, like crocus, rest beneath a shallow covering of soil. Bigger bulbs, like daffodils or alliums, need to go deeper.
  • If your soil is loose, a trowel will work well for digging planting holes. You can also use a dibber (for small bulbs like grape hyacinth or scilla) or a bulb planter. 
  • If you live in a cold climate, plant your bulbs before the soil freezes.

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STEP 2: Don't forget to fertilize

 

  • It's important to give bulbs a boost of food at planting time.
  • Mix bonemeal or a bulb booster fertilizer into the soil in the base of the planting hole. This fertilizer will stimulate root growth.

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STEP 3: Tuck bulbs into soil.

 

  • Arrange bulbs in the planting hole with the root-end down and the shoot-end up. The end that's a little more pointy goes up.
  • When planting bulbs, arrange them in odd-numbered clusters to create little drifts of color in the garden. It's best to avoid planting bulbs in soldier-straight lines. 

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STEP 4. Water and mulch.

 

  • After the bulbs are in place, push soil over their tips, tamping down lightly.
  • Water well.
  •  Apply a light layer of mulch to keep the bulbs from being pushed up and out of the soil as it freezes and thaws during winter warm-ups.
  • Add a plant marker so you won't forget where you planted the bulbs.

 

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If shoots emerge this fall, don't panic. When freezing temperatures arrive, the shoots will die. New shoots and flowers will emerge in spring.

Tags

how to plant a bulb, Bulbs, planting in the spring fall

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