Planting Bulbs in Fall

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Planting Bulbs in Fall

By:  Chelsea Lipford Wolf

There are so many reasons to love the fall season. Changing leaves, pumpkins and cooler temperatures. Fall is also the time of year when you need to start planning your spring flowers! Sounds crazy to plan so far in advance, but the ‘ground work’ you put in now will pay off in dividends in spring when it comes to planting flowering bulbs.

Planting Bulbs in Fall

Types of Flowering Bulbs

Some of your favorite spring-blooming flowers start out as bulbs. Just like you may plant seeds to grow vegetables, the bulbs are the first step in growing your own flowers.

The more popular bulbs you’ll find in store are daffodils, tulips, irises, hyacinth and allium. You’ll either find them in mesh bags on racks or in bins where you can hand-pick your bulbs. Either way it might look like you’ve got more onions and garlics than flowers at first!

Planting Bulbs in Fall

Choose Your Containers

The general rule of thumb when it comes to planting bulbs is to get them in the ground before the first frost hardens the soil. Obviously, the month of the first frost will depend on what part of the country you live.

But planting your bulbs in containers gives you a lot more flexibility on the timing of your planting and where you can have your flowers bloom in the spring! Choose a lightweight planter so when it is full of dirt you can still move it around to your desired location.

Start them in a shady area until winter is well underway. Then you can relocate them to your patio when they are in bloom.

Planting Bulbs in Fall

Layout Bulbs According to Height

Just like planting a “thriller, filler, spiller” container, you want to vary the height of your flowers within your container. Maybe for one container you plant your tallest bulbs in the back, then the next tallest in front of those and the shortest bloomer in the front. (Pictured in the cocoa)

Another option is to plant a shorter variety around the outside of your container while planting a taller variety in the center. (Pictured in the terracotta)

Once you have your bulbs laid out how you like them, push them into fresh potting soil and then cover.

Planting Bulbs in Fall Planting Bulbs in Fall Planting Bulbs in Fall

Watering Needs

Lastly, you’ll want to give them a good watering after planting to wake up the bulbs. They should not need watering throughout winter. Then, following the first signs of blooming, keep them watered regularly throughout spring until they start dying back.

Planting Bulbs in Fall Planting Bulbs in Fall Planting Bulbs in Fall

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your spring blooms really soon!

Check out some other planter project ideas!

Prepping Your Potted Plants for Winter

Variegated Houseplants Guide for Beginners