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Plan Ahead for Fall-planted Bulbs

Spring seems like an odd time to think about planting tulips, crocuses, daffodils and the like, since these spring-blooming beauties can't be put in the ground until the fall. But spring is truly the time to see where your garden could benefit from more flower bulbs.

tulips and flowers

Roy Diblik has advice for placing fall-planted bulbs, which he considers key companions for flowering or foliage perennials, in his book, The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden. Diblik recommends leaving perennials standing through winter and then cutting back their old foliage in early spring. From here, he says, note how long it takes various perennials to start into growth and fill in their respective areas. By noting these details, you can choose bulbs that will provide color while the perennials are just waking up, and whose declining foliage will be hidden by the perennials as they ramp up.

In addition to keeping notes, take pictures over the course of the spring, making sure to date them. Come fall, look back at your photos to pinpoint exactly where you should plant new daffodils, tulips and other fall-planted bulbs.

Image: "Tulpen und Stiefmütterchen" by 3268zauber - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Roy Diblik's The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden shows how to plan, plant and easily tend a garden of flowering perennials and seasonal flower bulbs.

Plant lots of bulbs quickly and easily with Clarington Forge's Bulb Planter.

Learn all about choosing, using and tending flower bulbs with Horticulture's Bulbs CD.