No matter what type of fall bulb in which you wish to invest, plant and enjoy, pick the largest, top grade sizes that are available. In other words, the fatter the bulb, the better for bloom. Sometimes these top notch bulbs are listed as #1 grade. If you are picking them out yourself, be sure that you choose bulbs that are firm and not squishy. Soft bulbs have probably already rotted internally. Also, do not choose any bulbs showing signs of mold. You want big, firm and mold free bulbs for the healthiest and most vibrant display in the spring. Small bulbs may not even reward you with a much anticipated bloom but merely foliage or a tiny insignificant bloom at best.
Please don’t make your fall bulbs lonely. Bulbs are best enjoyed in groupings of at least five to seven bulbs per singular display. More bulbs per a given planting bed area, the more spectacular your display will be in the spring. Maximize the eye-catching effect of color with mass plantings rather than a few bulbs planted here and there. Even if you choose to plant only one variety of the same type and bulb color, you will achieve a much better satisfaction in your display if your plant en masse.
Which side is up? Bulbs typically have some dried roots appearing at the base of the bulb. This, of course, is the “down” part of the bulb. If you are uncertain with side is “up”, plant your bulbs on their sides and they will sort it out on their own with no problem.
Typically bulbs will perform fine without much fertilization. However, the informed gardener or one that wants to make her spring flowering investment really pay dividends, will add phosphorous to the root zone of the bulbs during the planting process. All plants require phosphorous for healthy roots and flowers. Bulbs in particular grow with more vigor with the added phosphorous nutrient. Since phosphorous does not move too readily in the soil strata, placing this nutrient down around the root zone really helps the fall bulbs develop a good thick root system. An excellent source of phosphorous for planting is bone meal.
So make an investment in yourself and your landscape this fall. In the spring, you’ll enjoy envious onlookers and a grin on your face from ear to ear. Fall truly is for planting!