Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Gardening: How and When to Plant bulbs

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By John Wick

A successful spring-flowering needs proper knowledge of planting and gardening of flowering bulbs. Check out this article to know everything about plant bulbs. Get started with planting bulbs!

Spring bulbs and summer bulbs

Before planting, it is important to know about different types of bulbs. There are mainly two types of flowering bulbs.

1) Summer bulbs

Summer bulbs or tender bulbs are planted in spring. They will bloom in summer or might take a longer time. Examples of summer bulbs are gladiolus, dahlias, caladiums, dahlias, and lilies. Dahlias take time to leaf out.

2) Spring bulbs

Spring bulbs or hardy bulbs are planted in falls. They flower in spring after spending time in the ground in the winter. Spring bulbs need cold temperatures and several weeks to break their dormancy. Common hardy bulbs are crocus, tulips, allium, and hyacinth, which flower in spring to their full potential.

It is best not to purchase summer bulbs during winter because they can’t tolerate cold temperatures. Store them in a dry spot if purchased before time. Also, make sure it is planted on warm ground with no threats of frost.

Where and when to seed bulbs

Always try to plant the bulbs where there is adequate drainage and sunlight. Sunlight is important for any plant. Drainage is crucial for bulbs because dampness can cause rotting. It would be better to plant in narrowly sandy or loamy soil as these grounds enable proper drainage and nutrients.

It would be great to plant early spring bloomers under a deciduous tree.

Now take a look at the best time for planting bulbs.

Planting time could be divided into two zones. That is;

Zone 4 to 7:

Spring bulbs need cool ground. So it is apt to plant the bulbs in colder climates at an average of 40° to 50°F. The evening is the best time and ensures to plant seven to eight weeks before the freeze. It is purchased before planting time; try to store it in the refrigerator. Please note these flowering bulbs are best to plant in mid-spring.

Zone 8 to 10:

Chill the summer bulbs in the refrigerator for seven to eight weeks during warmer climates. It is better to plant on cool grounds.

Normal planting time for hardy bulbs:

Zone 4 and 5 is between September to October, following zone 6 and 7 from October to November. Zone 8 and 9 come from November to December, while zone 10 happens between December to January.

Normal planting time for Summer bulb:

Zone 8 to 10 comes in between March to May, while zone 4 to 7 is during May to June.

Easy tips for the best gardening

1) Healthy bulbs

Check the bulbs before purchasing. Always choose healthy-looking firm and dry bulbs. Exchange or return the bulbs with bruises or mushy spots.

2) Right time

Always plant at the right time. Follow the temperature of the soil. A meat thermometer will help to check soil temperature. If not available, find the average frost date. Also, check the dormancy period of the bulbs. Calculate the period a bulb takes to flower.

3) Right place

Every nook and cranny won’t be the right place to leave the bulb. Plant it deep where there is proper drainage. Sunlight is a must. Don’t let the bulbs grow in a moist area.