Nine steps for planting spring bulbs
This winter, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden team will be busy planting nearly 500,000 bulbs. These same bulbs will be enjoyed by all when they transform into beautiful tulips and daffodils during Dallas Blooms, February 28 through April 12, 2015.
You don’t need to be a horticulturist to have a gorgeous garden once winter thaws. Just follow these tips now to have a blooming backyard come spring.
1. Pick the best bulbs. Choose spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, allium, leucojum and muscari from a reputable nursery. Squeeze each bulb gently to make sure they are firm. If the bulb is not firm, it may not produce many (if any) blooms.
2. Pick the right day to plant. Choose a warmer day to plant your bulbs, preferably when the ground is not frozen, and plant a day or two after you’ve purchased them. These spring-blooming bulbs can be planted up until mid-January.
3. Pick a place. Choose an area of your garden that gets lots of sun and has well-drained soil.
4. Prepare. Be sure to work a few inches of compost into the soil before planting.
5. Place. Make sure to plant your tulips about 2 to 4 inches apart. Set them in clusters instead of rows because you’ll want to see them bloom together, not individually. Remember to plant generously, as some of the bulbs may not sprout.
6. Plant. Follow this basic rule for planting your spring-blooming bulbs: Plant your bulbs at a depth of three times the bulb’s circumference (the width of the bulb). For most tulips and daffodils, that’s about 6 inches.
7. Water. Immediately after you cover your bulbs with good garden soil, water generously.
8. Fertilize. After planting, apply high nitrogen fertilizer.
9. Mulch. Use mulch to keep the weeds out and the moisture in.