November 21, 2011

Bulb Planting for Busy Gardeners

Bulbs are such a treat in the spring.  Sometimes surprising, always colorful, and a welcome reminder that warmer days are ahead.  However, they have to be planted the previous fall when other garden chores may be keeping you busy or it is getting a bit nippy out.  It is worth planning ahead, but don't fret if you find the calendar flipped over and the bulbs still in their bags. 

Generally we think of mid-October as bulb planting weather here.  But it can be warm late in to the year.  And temperature, not calendar, is what counts.  The bulbs don't know if it's October or November (or occasionally December).  But they do know cold means store up the food for blooms and warmth means start growing.  So planting too early is not recommended nor is planting in fall if too warm.  As a colleague put it, plant bulbs when the weather is cool enough for a sweater and sniffles.   And if the ground isn't frozen late in the year, or too wet, it is worth a try.  Beats looking regretfully at those wasted bags of bulbs