Planting Your Spring Flower Bulb Garden This Fall
Installing a beautiful spring blooming flower bulb garden is easy and fun. The results will have the neighbours talking. A few simple steps will allow you to create a garden you can be proud of. Flower bulbs are a great value, winter hardy and bloom for years and years.
Prepare Flower Bed
Rake off any remaining debris on top of the soil. Discard any diseased or dead leaves. Take a spade or rake and break up the top 2-3" of soil. This will allow for proper drainage. If the soil is compacted or clay-like, add soil amendments such as peat moss or vermiculite. Smooth out the bed so you have a nice flat surface. Ideally, the bed should be raised for best drainage results.
Designing your flower bed
When designing your flower bed, lay out the garden design. Tall plants should be placed in the back, shorter plants in the front. This will help balance the bed for a pleasing look. Mix or match bulb varieties as you prefer. There is no wrong way to do it. Remember to take into account the size of the planting bed. For the best result, plant approximately 4-5 bulbs per square foot. This will fill the space and offer a high impact look. Ex: flower bed is approximately 50 sq feet. 50 multiplied by 5 = 250 bulbs. Avoid planting in a line but rather in large groups. This adds impact. Lay out your bulbs on the ground. Use your bulb planter to pre-dig your holes.
Planting the Flower bulbs
Plant your flower bulbs before the ground freezes. Place the bulbs in the hole with the smallest tip pointed upward. Don't worry, if you accidently planted them sideways or upside down, they will still find a way to bloom. Put a small amount of slow release fertilizer into each hole. Water each hole thoroughly. Cover with soil and apply 2-4" of mulch. The bulbs will remain dormant until the ground warms back up in late spring. TIP: Plant like variety bulbs in groups of 12 or more. Avoid straight line planting. Group planting adds impact.
With the flower bulbs in the ground, watered and fertilized, it is time to add some mulch. In extreme temperatures, mulch helps insulate the bulbs and retain moisture. Keep in mind that your bulbs establish their root systems during the fall months but will not start blooming for several months. It is recommended that you apply at least a 2-4" layer. TIP: In early spring, add a dash of colour by planting some spring pansies. Coordinate the colour of the pansies with your bulbs for an amazing look in the spring. For instance, yellow pansies with bright red or purple tulips look fantastic together. The possibilities are endless.
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