Plant Spring Bulbs in the Fall

Ever wonder why you plant bulbs in the fall and they don’t bloom until spring? The reason is because the bulbs are actually dormant when you buy them, and the cold winter temperatures break their dormancy. The bulb stores food for the plant so that it has the necessary nutrients to grow and begin to bloom in the springtime. Whether you live in Columbus, Ohio, or another part of the U.S., here is some info to help make fall planting a success. For additional info, check out our article on Fall Planting in Columbus!

Popular spring flowers that start as bulbs include:

  • Hyacinths
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Amaryllis
  • Crocus
  • Lilies

Many of these varieties are popular in Ohio because they are hardy and do well over a cold winter.

When to Plant Flowering Bulbs
A good rule of thumb is to pant your bulbs about 6 weeks before the soil in your region freezes, usually late September or early October. If in doubt, earlier is better so that the root systems have time to develop before it gets really cold. If you plant your bulbs too late, the plants may bloom later in the season.

Simple Steps for Bulb Planting:

  1. When purchasing flowering bulbs, select big fat healthy ones and avoid any that appear dry, withered or moldy.
  2. Work bulb fertilizer into the surrounding soil after you dig your hole.
  3. Plant bulbs pointed side up because that is the stem of the plant and it will grow easier.
  4. Water well after planting, and again if you have a dry fall.

How Deep to Plant Flowering Bulbs
Consider the size of the bulb and use a garden spade to dig a hole that is about three times as deep as the bulb’s diameter.

Planting Bulbs in Groups
For a more dramatic look or to get maximum flowers in small spaces, plant groups of bulbs together in one large hole. To create companion plantings, layer different types of bulbs from bottom to top, lightly covering each layer with soil.

After the Bloom
It’s best to let your plants die back on their own because they need time to create food reserves for next year. (It takes about two months for the flowers to fade.) Once your plants have finished flowering you can cut them back to ground level.

If you want spring flowering bulbs planted this fall in Columbus, Ohio, whether for your home, business or rental property, contact the lawn care professionals at Five Seasons Landscape Management.

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