Flowering bulbs can offer a gardener many opportunities to add beauty to an existing landscape. Unlike any other flower, their bloom times and variety adds something to the garden all year long. If chosen correctly, this affords the landscape a continuum of color from spring until the first snow. The nice thing about these plants are their adaptation to almost any area of the yard. You can mix them in with your flower beds, shrubs, or by your trees. If the soil and sun offer optimum planting condition, then your imagination can run wild. Remember when planting that they will return each year and multiply when they do. To get the best look from your selections some basic knowledge about these perennials will make the planting experience an enjoyable one.

Buying Bulbs:

The first thing that you should know about planting bulbs is what type of bulb that you should purchase. Knowing this will determine which ones to plant at this time of the year. There are hardy bulbs, and there are tender bulbs. Fall is the season for planting hardy bulbs. Tender bulbs cannot withstand the winter months, so wait until early spring before attempting to put these fragile plants into the ground.

Planting Bulbs:

When you plant your bulbs you will want to achieve a natural look in the spring. To avoid a contrived appearance, do not plant these perennials in defined rows. Even though they need to be a certain depth, and spaced apart, you can still apply some creativity to this layout. Find a spot in the garden and plant in layers. Dig down about 6 inches and place your bulbs with the pointed ends up. Water and cover with about 2 inches of soil. Sporadically place another layer on top of this, about 4 inches down. Make sure that you do not place these bulbs directly overtop of the ones planted just below them. When you plant your bulbs in this way, you should yield a lush and intense amount of plants and blooms. You can also try this layout with different size bulbs that bloom at the same time. Be sure to place the bigger bulbs deeper. Also, keep in mine the color scheme you are trying to create when doing this. Another natural layout that you can use is by just tossing the bulbs on the ground. When they have landed at their new home, that is where you can dig down and plant them. Don’t worry about over planting them, the more that you have the larger the visual impact.

Lastly, and most importantly, breakup the soil and make sure that the bulbs are laying firmly on the surface before covering them up. It is even better if you will turn the soil once, and mix with some compost before planting them. One year I made the mistake of just pushing the soil forward with the shovel and shoving the bulbs down behind the back of the shovel. But we all get better with experience. Even though the soil may be loose, this technique can create an air pocket underneath the bulb. If this occurs it will not properly root, and it can even cause the bulb to rot.