Plant Now for Wow Later

hyacinth-flower_s4x3_jpg_rend_hgtvcom_1280_960If you want your yard or garden to pop with color next spring, now is the time to make that happen. It’s time to plant spring flowering bulbs: crocus, hyacinth, snowdrops, tulips, daffodils and more.

garden_flowers_for_sale_online_38479_600_399You can use bulbs to design a beautiful landscape and compliment your property. Plant single colors in drifts or large swaths for an eye-catching display, or in contrasting or similar colors.

Master Gardener Elsie Gibeson in her Bulb Planting for Spring program recommends planting in different heights for interesting layers and different blooming times so there’s always something coming up – February through May.

Fall planting bulbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. They are perennial and will come up again and again. They’re hardy so there’s no need to dig them up each year.

spring-flowering-bulbsbeautifull-pictures-flowersHere are some planting basics:

  • plant before first hard frost (usually around the end of October, first of November for our area, but looks like this year it will be later)
  • plant in well-drained soil and where they’ll get 6 hours of sun
  • dig down 3 times the length of the bulb, put the pointy side up, fertilize and water well

If you want to grow bulbs on a much smaller scale or you just can’t wait for spring, you can plant in containers or force bulbs. A single red amaryllis or small bunch of fragrant, snowy paper whites make a nice holiday accent for inside your home. You can plant the bulbs in soil or use other mediums like colored beads or sea shells. Plant in a clear glass container to let these decorative mediums be seen.

forcing-hyacinths-indoorsIf you have gardening questions, the Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners run a Response Line through October 31, 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. They’ll be happy to offer expert advice and encouragement.

Donna Casey

I work in Circulation as a senior library associate. I love mysteries, traveling, gardens and libraries. My favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell and Harlan Coben, but I enjoy any well-plotted mystery.