Snowdrops are usually the first flower to bloom in spring, sometimes poking up through the snow. There are many varieties, some of which are hardy through USDA zone 3, but most are hardy through USDA zone 4. Like almost all spring-blooming bulbs, plant snowdrops in fall for flowers the following spring.
Choose a location to plant snowdrops that is in full sun during late winter and early spring. They can be planted in lawn areas under trees because they bloom long before the trees leaf out. Soil should be rich and well-drained.
Improve the soil by adding 2 inches each of compost and peat moss to the surface. Dig them in by turning the soil over with a spade. Rake the area smooth.
Plant bulbs of snowdrops in mid fall, after the soil has cooled a bit from its warm summer temperatures. Daytime air temperatures should be in the 40s and 50s. Use a bulb planter or dig individual holes with a garden trowel. Add 1 tsp. of bone meal to the bottom of the hole and mix it into the soil with a stick or old fork. Place the bulbs into the holes with the pointed end up. Back fill with soil and firm the surface gently but firmly.
Water the bed with an overhead lawn sprinkler. Thereafter, the bulbs will not need any additional watering, except for natural rainfall or snowfall.
Fertilize the bulbs in early spring after they finish blooming. Apply granulated all-purpose fertilizer to the ground around them and lightly scratch it into the soil. Follow the manufacturer's recommended quantities.
Remove the faded flowers and stems, but do not remove the foliage. Leave it to die down naturally, which will take up to six weeks. The foliage helps feed the bulbs, giving them energy to produce next year's flowers.