Fall is time to plant spring flowering bulbs
One of the most care free gardening rewards is planting spring flowering bulbs.
Once planted these plants can give a gardener years of beautiful blooms.
October and November are the months we should plants these bulbs. Garden centers will start stocking bulbs soon or they can be ordered from seed companies. Make sure you select healthy, mature, disease free bulbs. Generally the larger the bulb the larger the bloom. Most spring flowering bulbs prefer a sunny, or partial shaded location in a well-drained soil.
Bulbs can be planted in exiting beds or in newly prepared beds. If planting bulbs in a prepared bed be careful with the amount of fertilizer added to the bed as fertilizer may cause bulb burn and injury. Think about where to plant the bulbs for the best display of color, texture, length of bloom and size of flowers. A large planting of the same color catches the eye better than a scattering of several colors.
Bulbs that do well in our area are daffodils, narcissi, jonquils, hyacinths, Dutch iris and snow flake. These bulbs will give years of repeated bloom with little care. Tulips are a poplar bulb but are not adapted to our mild climate. Tulips need to be placed in the refrigerator for 45 to 60 days prior to planting. Do not freeze the bulbs. Plant immediately after removal from the refrigerator in December or early January. Tulip bulbs can be dug after blooming but usually do not store well for planting another year.
Plant daffodils, narcissi, jonquils, hyacinth, and tulips 2-5 inches deep depending on the size of the bulb, Dutch iris and snow flake 3-4 inches deep. Make sure the roots of the bulb are in contact with soil, no air pockets. After a few years, the bulbs may need to be dug, separated and replanted.
Carol Pinnell-Alison is the LSU AgCenter County Agent-Horticulture for Franklin and Richland parishes.