Our Guide To Fall-Planted Flowering Bulbs
One of the great joys of gardening is watching flowering bulbs pop up in the spring time. If you want to bring in spring with a burst of beautiful color, you’ll need to start planting your bulbs in Autumn, meaning real soon!
To prolong the enjoyment of your bulbs, make sure to plant varieties that bloom over an extended period of time. You can choose a variety of early, mid and late season bulbs that will burst forth with their colorful bounties over most of Spring.
Choosing the right bulbs can be fun. You can find sun loving bulbs, shade loving bulbs, ones that attract butterflies and bees as well as drought tolerant and deer resistant bulbs.
Here in Northern California, we have a large selection of bulbs that can be planted in the Fall including daffodils, ranunculus, Anemone coronaria, Spanish bluebells, grape hyacinths, freesias and Dutch iris.
Make sure to read the planting instructions that come with your bulb purchases as some spring bulbs, such as tulips, hyacinths and crocuses will need to be pre-cooled before planting.
To pre-cool your bulbs, put them in the fruit/vegetable bin of your refrigerator for 6 to 14 weeks. Make sure you do not store them with any ripening fruit, as they can give off ethylene gas which could possibly damage your bulbs. Once you remove the bulbs from the refrigerator, plant them as soon as possible.
This time of year it’s easy to find bulbs for sale, they are pretty much available everywhere from nurseries to garden centers and even at many Costco locations.
After your bulb purchase, plant then quickly in a site with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Make sure to add a few inches of compost in the soil to help them on their way. It’s always a good idea to plant more then you think you will want as some of the bulbs will not sprout.
One final note, if you have gophers, voles or other burrowing creatures, you may want to either purchase a bulb cage or place the bulbs in chicken wire to help protect them from the little varmints.