Friday, October 31, 2008

Plant Your Bulbs Now

When should we plant spring and early summer flowering bulbs? The answer is NOW to be sure they are planted in time to develop a root system and satisfy the cold requirement of the bulbs. You will want to wait until soil temperatures are below 60 F (16 C) before planting. In Henderson County, this is usually late October to November.

Where should we plant our bulbs? We need to plant in soils with good drainage. If the soil is mostly clay, mix in an organic amendment such as peat moss, compost, aged bark, etc., up to 50% in volume, or plant in raised beds. If the soil is mostly sand, add an organic amendment to increase water and nutrient holding capacity. Soil pH is critical! The pH of the planting area should be in the 6-7 range.

Spring flowering bulbs can be used in beds with annuals or perennials, borders, ground covers, rock gardens, and wooded areas. For perennialization, avoid planting them near heated basements. These bulbs do best in areas that do not receive direct sunlight during midday, especially during hot summer months.

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