Flowers in the spring are a great treat after a long and dreary winter. The work to get these flowers needs to be done in the fall. Planning ahead will give your garden some early and great looking plants.
Choosing healthy bulbs is key to healthy flowers. The bulbs should be big, firm, and not too dried out. Big is relative of course, a big crocus bulb is much smaller than a big daffodil bulb. Once you know what the average size is it becomes much easier to determine which bulbs are good, mediocre, and bad.
To get the best flowers the bulbs need to be planted in full sun. Finding full fun in spring is pretty easy as the trees are free of leaves. Houses, fences, and other structures can cast a shadow so know where your shadows are.
Bulbs like to be on the dry side. They'll start growing a few roots when they are planted but don't need much in the way of extra water. The bulbs should be planted in loose, fertile, and well drained soil. You don't want to make it too hard for the young plants to fight their way to the surface.
The pointy end of the bulb is the end that the plant will be coming from. This end should face up. Bulbs planted upside down can grow and bloom but there's no sense in torturing the poor little guys. Give them a helping hand by planting them right side up.
Most bulbs come with depth instructions. If you lose those instructions a good general rule of thumb is to plant the bulbs about 3x the of the bulb diameter deep. Smaller bulbs can be planted 2-3 inches deep, while larger bulbs will need a good 6-8 inches of soil over them. Each plant type is unique so make sure you know the details about your particular plant.
When purchasing bulbs they will come ready to plant and bloom, but many of these plants need a certain amount of time below a certain temperature. If you live in a warmer climate you may need to dig and chill the bulbs for some weeks in order to get them to bloom the following year.
Spacing of the bulbs is another consideration. Larger bulbs make larger plant and should be planted at a larger distance. Ok that sentence could've been written differently but it was fun to write. The plants should be close enough that they form a nice mass of color but not so close that they don't get good air circulation.
Ok so your bulbs got planted and bloomed like crazy and now all that's left is a bunch of foliage that's kind ofâ€¦wellâ€¦ugly and boring. The first inclination that people have it to chop them down once the flowers die. The problem with doing that is the plants need that foliage to produce energy for the next years bloom. Leave the leaves in place as long as you can stand it before chopping them down.
That's pretty much it for planting spring flowering bulbs. Good luck and enjoy those pretty flowers.