Gardening: Planting Spring Bulbs

Megan Martin

 

After the year we’ve had, I am very much looking forward to 2021. Robin Williams said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”

I tend to plant and forget, so it’s a great surprise when my flowers start popping up! Gardening is as high maintenance as you want it to be: I try to make it easier for myself by grouping plants that like require similar nutrients near one another, so I can fertilize by section rather than by plant. 

You want to plant your spring bulbs when the days are cooler, but it’s easiest to get them in the ground before the ground gets too cold. Lexington’s average first frost date is between October 21-31, so go ahead and get those bulbs ready!

 

Here’s what I’ll be planting in the fall: 

Shade - (These need less than 4 hours of sun: morning sun is usually a great option for these plants!) 

-Bleeding Hearts 

-Grape Hyacinths

 

Part-Sun - (4-6 hours of sun)

-Assorted Irises

 

Full Sun – (These don’t necessarily need all day sun, but they do need six hours! Think of a spot that gets sunlight in the afternoon.)

-Triumph & Darwin Tulips

-Blue Alliums

-Pink Lily Leek (Allium ostrowskianum)

-Canna Lillies

 

Here's How to Do It!

It’s best to refer to the care instructions provided on the plant packaging, but if you’re getting some second-hand bulbs, here are some tips:

1.) Determine the proper depth. If you’re not sure, a good rule of thumb is to aim for 2-3 times as deep as your bulb is tall.

2.) Loosen the soil and mix in nutrients or organic material, as needed. 

3.) Place your bulbs point up, roots down. If you’re not sure which way is up, they CAN be planted on their sides.

4.) Cover with soil and mulch, if desired. This protects the bulb through winter. Water well.