Bulbs are typically planted in the fall for spring blooming plants and in the spring for summer blooming plants. Many gardeners are not familiar with those bulbs that are planted in the summer and bloom in the fall. Autumn blooming bulbs are sometimes difficult to find at a nursery, but they are available through mail order and online. The most common fall blooming bulbs are garden favorites that include Colchicum speciosum, Crocus speciosus, Crocus goulimyi and Sternbergia lutea.
Select a planting site. Autumn flowering bulbs like full sun--at least six hours of sunlight a day--and well-draining soil.
Amend your soil, if necessary. Unless you are planting in an established planting bed that has been amended already, you will need to work on it a bit. Till the top 12 inches of your soil with a garden fork. Mix in three to four inches of organic matter, such as peat moss or compost. Now your planting bed will be conducive to thriving bulbous plants.
Add a sprinkle of bulb food and a sprinkle of soil (to slightly cover the food) at the bottom of each hole before planting your bulbs.
Plant the bulbs. The best times are in July, August and early September. Most bulbs will pop out of the ground and bloom in as few as three weeks. Plant small bulbs like crocuses about 2 inches below the soil and larger bulbs like colchicum 4 inches below the soil. Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart, and be sure the tips are facing up.
Backfill and firm down the soil with your hands. Water well after planting, and water every few days when rain is scarce.