How to Plant Bulbs for Spring


Bulbs that grow flowers in the spring time have to be planted in the ground in the fall of the previous year. They must have a certain amount of time in freezing temperatures to start growing. If you live in warmer climates and don't get cold weather until much later, you can wait as late as December. The main thing to remember is to make sure that the bulbs are planted before the first hard frost.

Step 1

Locate an area with full sun and a rich, well-draining soil.

Step 2

Chop up the earth with a hoe to break up clumps and incorporate some air. Dig down at least 6 inches. Mix in organic matter such as mulch, leaves, compost or peat to enrich the soil. Two inches of organic matter is a fair amount to improve the soil for the bulbs. Also add a fertilizer with phosphate to encourage root growth; follow the package directions for the amount needed for the area you are covering.

Step 3

Dig a small hole about the size of the bulb's diameter with your fingers or a hand trowel. Each type of flower has its own planting depth and spacing, so check the package. It will generally be around 4 to 6 inches down.

Step 4

Drop the bulbs in the holes in their predetermined locations. Ensure the pointed side is turned up. If not, the flower may not grow.

Step 5

Sprinkle the dirt back over the top of the bulbs, but do not pack it down. Add a dash of bulb food on top of the covered bulbs.

Step 6

Water the area well and keep the area damp. Check daily to make sure the ground does not dry out. Do this until the first frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Hoe
  • Organic material
  • Bulb food
  • Water


  • The Garden Helper: Planting, Growing and Caring for Spring Flowering Bulbs
  • University of Illinois: Bulbs Planting and Care
Keywords: plant bulb, spring flower bulbs, plant spring bulbs