It's Not Too Late!
On my morning walk today, I could feel the season beginning to shift from autumn to winter. This brings to mind all the things I want to do before it winter truly arrives!
I definitely want to plant some spring-flowering bulbs, but I was concerned about whether it is getting too late to plant them. So I called Jamie (Hancock) Kidd, Horticulture Extension Agent at the Shawnee County Extension office (home of the Master Gardeners), and she assured me that it is not too late. The ground is still workable, and there is time for bulbs to develop their root systems and bloom in the spring.
I love planting spring bulbs and knowing how delightful it will be when the lovely green shoots come up after a long, cold winter. Crocus come up first, closely followed by the daffodils. There are scads of different kinds of daffodils, and many are quite exotic. The daffodils are joined by the tulips. There are also scads of tulips, and they have a wide range of bloom times so if you plan it right you can have lovely spring blooms for quite a long time. And, of course, there are many other spring-blooming bulbs besides the familiar ones!
The library’s Lawn and Garden neighborhood has some great books about flower bulbs:
And if you don’t want to wait until spring for your flowers, you can “force” bulbs over the winter. The easiest and quickest bulbs to force are Amaryllis and Paperwhites because they don’t require a period of cold like most spring bulbs. If you plant them now, you will likely have some blooms for the holidays! You can organize plantings so you have lovely blooming flowers all winter long. That is my favorite way to do it! And they make lovely gifts as well.
If you want to force tulips or daffodils, keep in mind that they will need to spend 8-12 weeks after planting in a cold garage or a refrigerator to simulate winter.
Here are some good online resources for forcing bulbs indoors: