Plan Ahead for Spring Bulbs

Spring bulbs-smBulbs bring me such joy in the spring, that every fall I plant a couple of hundred additional bulbs in my home garden. If you don’t have any bulbs in your garden, then you have a blank slate and can easily make your bulb selections in September.  I have found that if you have some bulbs planted already and if you are like me and can never remember where or what kind you planted, then the best strategy is to take a series of photos from March through May and use these photos to jog your memory come September.

When contemplating what types of bulbs to plant consider color, bloom time, and browse resistance. I like to plant waves of different varieties of bulbs that will bloom from March through May. Grape hyacinths and daffodils tend to come up first, followed by tulips, then Allium emerge in late spring, depending upon the specific variety of each bulb that you have planted. Bloom time is also affected by the particular site that they are planted in, a protected walled courtyard can encourage bulbs to bloom a full two to three weeks earlier than bulbs planted in a more exposed location. If you have deer, gophers and/or rabbits around your house, I have found that daffodils and Allium are the most reliable in terms of “browse” resistance. I particularly love Allium bulbs which come in a range of sizes from diminutive 6″ tall varieties to stunning specimens standing over 3′ tall (like the Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and AllIMG_3383ium ‘Gladiator’ in the photo top left).

Whatever varieties you plant, bulbs will reward you with early spring color while requiring very little water or care. Bulbs are definitely a plant well worth the small amount of effort they require to purchase and bury in the ground.