Gardner with bulbs

Growing bulbs

Bulbs will grow in any location except under evergreen trees—most bulbs like a sunny setting except for begonias that like some shade.  When planting your bulbs, consider the drainage in your bulbs’ location.  Too much water will cause the bulb to rot and die.  When planting bulbs, it is best to use sandy soil or a soil well mixed with organic matter.  Bulbs grow well in containers or raised flower beds.  Bulbs planted in raised beds bloom faster.  If you cover the bulbs with a thick mulch, they will bloom slowly.  If you have a lot of the same variety of bulbs, consider planting them at different times.  I stagger my plantings by a week or two, so I have flowers for the entire season.  Plant summer bulbs after the danger of frost have passed.

During the springtime, you will find hardware stores and garden shops that have an array of different summer-blooming bulbs.  Select your bulbs carefully, choose nice, solid fat ones and squeeze them to feel if they are mushy or soft.  Always look for firm and disease-free bulbs.  You can smell the bulbs for mold or rot.  Don’t shy away from mail-ordering bulbs on the internet.  There is a large selection online, and you can take advantage of the vendor’s special sales.  Order from a reputable supplier to know you are getting quality bulbs.

Plant your bulbs by digging a hole large enough for 3-5 bulbs and adding organic bulb fertilizer (high in phosphorus) at the bottom of the hole.  The rule of thumb is to dig the hole three times the depth of the bulb itself.  Try not to skimp on the depth of the hole.  The soil on my property is a clay loam, so I add sandy soil on top of the bulbs.

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