Digging In: Dreaming of a spring garden? Plant your bulbs now

Monday, 13 November 2017, 11:25:04 AM. Several weeks ago, we encouraged you to buy your spring flowering bulbs while there were plenty available of all varieties and then put them in a cool place when it's
Several weeks ago, we encouraged you to buy your spring flowering bulbs while there were plenty available of all varieties and then put them in a cool place when it's time to plant in our area. Well, it's time. For best flowering of bulbs — think amaryllis, daffodil, crocus, Easter lily, jonquil — plant in a site that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day and good drainage. If a site tends to stay damp, use raised beds. In the South, we don't plant bulbs quite as deeply as they do in other parts of the country. A good rule of thumb is to dig a hole twice the length of the bulb. Bulbs do best in soil with a pH between 6 and 7 — our soils are usually sufficient without having to use any amendments to change the soil pH. Add a teaspoon or so of bone meal to the bottom of the hole and mix slightly. This will provide the bulb with phosphorous during the winter as the roots develop. Since phosphorous is not very water soluble, it doesn’t move through the soil readily, so the bone meal provides an accessible slow release source of the mineral for your bulbs. It’s a good idea to draw yourself a map showing where you plant your bulbs and what you planted. Then, when spring rolls around and you start putting in other plants, you know where NOT to dig and also what colors you are expecting from your spring bloomers. Once you’ve planted your bulbs, water them in to settle the soil but avoid saturating the soil. Remember, bulbs sitting in water are likely to rot. You may also want to...Read more
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