GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Heidi Heiland of Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens shares her tips and tricks for success with planting fall bulbs now for early spring color. Tulips, Daffodils, Alliums, Hyacinths and Crocus can be planted now. Heidi says it’s easy to do, and worth the effort when Spring comes! And don’t forget the garlic cloves!

Planting Techniques:

· Everyone loves tulips. They make a great cut flower, and varieties typically bloom from late April through late May. Plant any bulb at a depth twice its height. For example, for a 4” tulip, the bottom of the bulb should be planted 8” deep.

· If adding minor bulbs, such as grape hyacinth or scilla, plant the main bulbs first at their appropriate depth in the bottom of the hole. Back fill the hole with soil. Plant the minor bulbs on top at their correct depth.

· Place bone meal or other bulb food at the bottom of the hole. If you’re unsure which side is ‘up’, plant the bulb on its side. The shoots will make a path to the surface.

· Place a piece of chicken wire over the hole, or sprinkle cayenne pepper on top of the soil to discourage squirrel invasion.

Mass Planting:

· Plant at least 50 of one variety - for example the Darwin Tulip – for the most impact. You may choose multiple colors of that variety, or a mass of all one color, but by sticking with one variety, you will have more uniform appearance of blooms in the Spring.

Location and Variety:

· High visibility areas are great for flowering bulb placement. Choose areas along an entryway, or areas viewed from a window.

· If you are concerned about deer eating the foliage or squirrels digging the bulbs, plant allium and daffodils which are poisonous.

· Plant bulbs between perennials for a “jack-in-the-box” effect. As the bulb foliage is dying back down, the perennials emerge and hide the yellowing leaves.

· Consider planting bulbs with perennials that bloom at the same time for a dramatic effect or plant spring flowering bulbs with cool season annuals, like hyacinth with violas.

· Add unique flowering bulbs such as fritillaria or allium. Allium bloom in late Spring through June. Some are as short as 6” and others as tall as 40”, and make excellent cut flowers.


· Every fall, established bulbs appreciate a top dressing of fertilizer to help encourage the stems to shoot to the surface in the early spring.

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