Bulbs – when and how to plant
Spring bulbs are some of the first and brightest plants to bloom after winter. Fall bulbs such as Surprise lilies also bloom at a time when many other landscape plants are starting to look stressed and faded from the long summer. Adding this fresh touch to the landscape is a fairly simple investment and can last years depending on the species of bulb. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths should all be planted in October in our zone as the ground starts to cool. Dig the hole for bulbs around 2 to 3 times their height. For daffodils and tulips, this will be around 6 inches deep, but smaller bulbs should be planted more shallowly. Mixing a small amount of Dutch Bulb Food into the loose soil at the bottom of the hole is a good idea as well.
Make sure the planting area has good drainage as well. Bulbs will rot in soils that are consistently wet. Make sure to dig the hole much deeper and put down gravel to encourage drainage in soggy locations. Bulbs should be planted in drifts for the best impact. A few bulbs will get lost when planted in a bed by themselves or small groups. For smaller bulbs at least 20 should be planted together to make an impact. For larger bulbs, 10 is usually enough, but more is always better for a large show. For bulb spacing, again, the size of bulbs matters. A good rule of thumb is to plant them as far apart from each other as they are planted deep in the ground. So if you plant your bulb 4 inches deep, space them 4 inches apart. If there is no rain or snow for a month during the winter, a slow, deep watering will keep them healthy, but again, don’t overwater as they may rot.