Planting spring-flowering bulbs takes advanced planning since the bulbs need to be placed in the ground in the fall or early winter. These bulbs will erupt in masses of beautiful color during the following spring. Purchase the largest bulbs in the fall to ensure healthy growth and good flower production. Larger bulbs are more likely to blossom year after year. Look for plump, clean and firm bulbs.
Spread 1 inch of compost over the top of the planting area. Add 1/2 inch of sand on top of the compost. Dig the soil to the depth of 12 inches and mix the amendments into the soil. This will give the bulbs a food source for the following years and ensure that the soil drains well. Excessively wet soil can cause bulb rot.
Add 1 pound of all-purpose fertilizer for every 100 square feet of your planting area. Sprinkle the fertilizer over the top of the soil then toss the soil around to mix in the fertilizer. This encourages the growth of the bulbs for the second year after planting.
Dig your planting area 3 to 4 times the depth of the largest bulb's height.
Place the first layer of bulbs 1 to 2 inch apart in the hole. The largest bulbs are planted first. Make sure that the nose or pointy end is upward and the root plate is down.
Cover this layer of bulbs with 2 inches of soil. Sprinkle enough water over the bulbs to settle the soil.
Place the next layer of bulbs on top of the previous layer. These should be smaller bulbs. Cover with soil and water. Add more layers until you have all the bulbs you want planted.
Fill the hole with soil and water the planting area well. Do not compact the soil over the bulbs.