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Gardeners Grow Together: Planting Spring Bulbs Late in the Season

Welcome to my special gardening page for those of you who like to garden yourselves!

During the growing season, I will make suggestions as to what gardening tasks we need to do. It will help keep you on track--as well as myself!

So, come on! Let's get our hands dirty!

Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Late in the Season

I have to admit, I still don't have all my Fall planted, Spring flowering bulbs in the ground yet. Life got crazy and time slipped away from me. Also, the weather hasn't been ideal for planting bulbs here in Colorado. It was just too hot! I was afraid the bulbs would force and start to grow too early. I had been keeping them in my cooler since I received them from the wholesaler in September, so they had been pre-chilled before planting, which meant any warmth in the soil would trigger them to grow.

Spring flowering bulbs need a chilling period to promote bloom. So, cold soil temperatures are a must. For tulips and daffodils, it's approximately 12 to 16 weeks, so it is possible to plant as late as January for successful blooms come Spring. As long as the soil is workable, you can plant. I planted my tulips in mid December, and my narcissus and daffodils just last week! After Christmas!

The rule of thumb for planting bulbs is to plant them 3-4 times deeper than the size of the bulb. So, tulips and daffs should be planted at 6-8 inches deep.

In the landscape garden, bulbs are best planted in clusters of at least five bulbs. Otherwise, they look spotty and lonely when they bloom; however, they will multiply over the years, forming their own clumps.

Trench planted tulips for cut flower production. I planted 3,000 tulips this time! All special, fancy varieties.

We cut flower farmers usually grow tulips as annuals, because they don't re-bloom reliably. We plant them in trenches, very close together, like eggs in a carton. When the buds are just showing color in the Spring, we pull them, bulb and all. The bulb has everything the plant and flower needs to survive, so they can be stored, dry, in the cooler, for up to three months! When it's time to use them, the stem is cut from the bulb and placed in water. Within a couple of hours, the bud is standing tall and starting to open. It really is amazing!

Murphy "un-digging" tulips. Bad dog!! You are no help at all!!

Other bulbs are best left in the ground to multiply over the years. The important thing is not to cut off the foliage and let it mature until it dies back on it's own. That will allow it to rejuvenate the bulb for blooms next year. Most will need to be divided every five years or so to prevent overcrowding.

To me, a garden is hope. As we head into this new year, lets turn to our gardens and hope for a more beautiful future.

Happy New Year!

Now, lets get busy!

If you have any questions, put them in the comments below!

~Lee Ann~



Valmont Valley Farm

Where Beautiful Magic is Always in Bloom

If you would like to join in supporting my flower farm and receive beautiful bouquets weekly, please sign up for my Flower CSA!

Get all the details here!


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If you find this information inspirational or helpful, I would love it if you would share it with your friends!

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