Spring is the best time of year to plant summer-flowering bulbs such as canas and ornamental onions. But even if you've procrastinated through winter on your spring-flowering bulbs, it's not too late to get them in the ground for next year. Most bulbs will thrive if given well drained, fertile soil, protection from strong winds. Many bulbs, once planted will thrive for years with little or no attention and provide years of great color.
Choose the site for your bulbs. Summer-blooming bulbs need full sun and well-drained soil to prevent rot.
Use your spade to loosen the ground to a depth of 10 inches by inserting the spade vertically into the ground to break the soil up.
Mix well-rotted compost or peat moss into the soil at a ratio of 2 gallons per square yard. Wait a few days to let the compost settle into the soil before planting the bulbs.
Mix bone meal into the soil at a ratio of 5 pounds per 100 square feet.
Place your bulbs over the area, spacing them at regular intervals to determine the way in which you will plant your bulbs. Mark this spot on the ground with a bit of baking flour before picking up the bulbs again.
Dig a hole with a trowel in the ground where you have marked each bulb's location to the recommended planting depth for each bulb. Begonias require a planting depth of 2 inches, while cannas and gladiolus require a depth of 5 inches. Typically a bulb's planting hole is twice the depth of the bulb itself.
Place horticulture grit into the plating hole to a depth of 2 inches to create drainage for your bulbs to prevent root rot.
Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up.
Cover your bulbs with the soil that you removed when digging the planting hole.
Mark the bulb bed to avoid planting other plants in the dirt and inadvertently damaging your bulbs.