How to Protect Spring Bulbs From the Snow

Overview

If snow has covered your spring bulbs, there is no need to worry. That blanket of snow is actually the best insulator for them and will help keep the ground warm while the spring bulbs continue to store energy. Although tulips, daffodils, crocuses and other spring bulbs are tough and can tolerate almost any extremes that winter can dish out, there are a few simple steps that can ensure your spring blooms will emerge unscathed from even the coldest, snowiest winter.

Step 1

Plant spring bulbs in early fall to give them plenty of time to establish roots before snow and frost. Spring bulbs planted later won't be as durable and will be more susceptible to winter cold.

Step 2

Spread 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch over the spring bulbs after the first frost of the season to protect it from the first snowfall. Reapply the mulch throughout the winter if it blows away or decomposes. Finely ground bark chips, pine needles or straw are all good choices. Mulch will provide a bit of extra insulation, will keep the soil temperature even, and will help prevent damage caused by freezing and thawing. Remove the mulch early in the spring so the shoots can easily emerge from the soil.

Step 3

Sprinkle a handful of granular fertilizer or bone meal over the surface of the snow in late winter. The fertilizer or bone meal will gradually dissolve into the soil, giving the spring bulbs a boost of extra energy for the coming blooming season.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch
  • Granular fertilizer or bone meal

References

  • University of Vermont Extension: Preparing the Garden for Winter
  • North Dakota State University Extension Service: Questions on: Bulbs
Keywords: protect spring bulbs, snow, tulips, daffodils

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.