Is it time to plant bulbs?

Have you noticed fall bulbs on store shelves already? Isn’t it too early to plant bulbs?

Actually, there is no reason to delay planting of tulips, daffodils and other fall bulbs. They will lay dormant in the soil for a month or so and then they will begin developing some roots before colder weather sends them into dormancy again.

There are some advantages to early purchase and planting. First, the selection is best when bulbs are first placed on the shelves.

Second, bulbs inevitably lose some moisture when exposed to warm, dry conditions. Even if you do not plant right away, bulbs store better under refrigeration.

Third, you still have time to order bulbs on line or in a catalog and still get them in plenty of time for planting.

I prefer purchasing my bulbs locally so I can see the size and condition of what I am buying. I like to shop around and purchase larger size bulbs, even if I have to pay a little more for them. The larger bulbs produce the best flowers.

The next question is where should I plant bulbs? Bulbs look nice with a green shrub background. Maybe you could remove a piece of lawn in front of some shrubs and create a new bed.

One of my favorite places to plant bulbs is in the same beds where I have annual flowers or ground covers. They can be planted between flower or ground cover plants. You may have to lift a branch to reach the soil underneath. Just dig a hole with a trowel every 3 to 5 inches and stick a bulb in. I have found that they grow just fine even if I do not get them planted to the precise depth mentioned on the directions.

I never plant less than a dozen bulbs of one kind or color. They look best in clumps or clusters. For beds which are 3 feet or more in depth, you may want to plant 2 kinds. Check growing height so you get the shorter bulbs in front. Wide beds can also be planted with 2 or more varieties.

So it is all right to plant bulbs now. Or you can wait until November or December to plant if you prefer. But you may want to purchase them soon and store them in a refrigerator.

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