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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Dec. 2, 2023

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Gardening With Allen: Plant spring blooming bulbs now


Did you ever notice some daffodils or tulips in bloom in the early spring and wish you had some in your own yard? By then, it’s too late to plant.

We can plant those bulbs from now until about the end of November. However, early planting gives bulbs a longer period to develop a strong root system. Also, the best selection is available right now. Full service nurseries and garden stores probably have the best local selection. Two of my favorite online sources are Holland Bulb Farms and K. van Bourgondien. Both specialize in large bulbs that produce the best flowers.

Bulbs grow best where they get at least a half day of direct sun. Some early bulbs do fine under deciduous trees because they bloom before leaves develop.

Bulbs can be planted between later blooming perennial flowers. One of my favorite places to plant bulbs is in ground covers. Bulbs also look nice with a shrub background.

Bulbs can be mixed with early and late bloomers in the same area, providing color over a long period.

Bulbs look best when planted in clusters rather than single-file rows. Best planting depth is three times the bulb diameter. Bulbs prefer well-drained soil. Don’t plant in low areas where water stands.

Daffodils are my favorite early spring bulb. They are the easiest and most reliable to come up every year. They multiply so that after about three or four years you can divide them and plant the extras in another area.

Hyacinths have wonderful fragrance. I plant them in areas close to the house and walkways where I can smell them daily. They also make excellent cut flowers.

Tulips have the largest variety of types and colors of flowers. I have tried doubles and parrot tulips, but my favorite way to plant them is a single color in large groups of a dozen or more. The Triumph varieties are a little shorter and more wind-resistant than the Darwin varieties. I really like the short botanical tulips that are just one step away from wild tulips.

Blanda anemones have daisy flowers and grow only 3 to 4 inches high.

Spring blooming bulbs are just what is needed to add color at the end of a dreary winter.

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