Flowering bulbs such as tulips, narcissus, daffodils, dahlias, crocus and anemones are nature's gift that keeps on giving. Bulbs return and multiply their blooms every year. Bulbs are easy to plant and easy to care for. You only need to plant them once to get many seasons of beauty. Flowering bulbs comes in all colors of the rainbow. Bulbs are easily combined with all types of flowers and all types of garden environments.
Bulbs in Your Garden
Use bulbs as an edging to a flower bed of perennials or scattered throughout a planting of annuals. Bulbs will be the first bloomers in the spring garden. Early flowering bulbs such as crocus can grow through a light layer of snow and give you a peek of garden colors to come as spring arrives. Use bulbs in containers grouped with many types of annuals for a constant bloom, spring to summer.
When to Plant Bulbs
Plant tulips, crocus, hyacinth and daffodils before wintertime because they like a long time in the ground before they send up leaves and flowers. Plant dahlias, begonias and anemones in the spring to give blooming color to your garden in the summertime. Just when your tulips and iris are fading in late spring, you can look forward to the bold, rich color of dahlias and begonias.
Best Soil Conditions for Bulbs
Bulbs grow best in garden soil which is neither too heavy nor too sandy. Heavy clay soil restricts the bulb from developing long roots and strong flower stems. Sandy soil will not hold water which growing bulbs need. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, add some sand or peat moss. If your soil is very sandy, add a good commercial compost mix.
How to Plant Bulbs
Plant your bulbs to the depth recommended on their package, which will vary according to the size of the bulb. Bigger bulbs such as tulips are planted two to four inches deep, smaller bulbs such as crocus are planted one to two inches deep. To prepare a flower bed for bulbs, turn over the soil "one spade deep" with your shovel to loosen it up. Add the compost or peat moss and mix it in with the soil.
Where to Buy Bulbs
Your local nursery stocks the basic, well-known varieties of bulbs for fall and spring planting. If you are looking for unusual color or variety of bulbs, the International Bulb Society recommends many mail-order sources. Your local farmer's market can also be a good source for bulbs during the fall. Many Bulb Societies sell their excess bulbs each year. Bulbs multiply in the garden, making them an ideal give-away.