Bulb Planting 101

Planting bulbs is a fun activity that the whole family can take part in. There are a few pieces of information that you must know before deciding what to plant and where.

The first thing you must decide is whether you plan to plant hardy bulbs which are also known as spring bulbs, or if the plants that you want are going to be a summer bulb, or a tender bulb. The spring bulbs are bulbs that are planted in the fall and spend the winter in the ground. These plants are the ones that most people seem to consider the pretty spring flowers such as tulips, crocuses, daffodils, and irises. These bulbs are planted when daytime temps reach around 50 degrees. Tender bulbs are planted in the spring when the chances of a hard frost are gone. In Dakotas, the time frame to plant these are in early to mid-May. The tender bulbs that most people plant around here are usually Callas, Cannas, and Gladiolus.

After deciding which plants, you are going to plant, we are now ready to get them into the ground. For both, hardy and tender the planting process is the same. Dig a hole that is about 3 times deep as the bulb is tall. You then place a fertilizer such as bone meal, or Dutch bulb food into the hole. It is now time to place the bulb in tip side up. Cover the plants up and wait. Areas are a hardiness zone that is 4 or 5, you may want to put extra mulch over the top to help insulate the bulbs over the winter. You will remove this mulch in the spring before bloom time. Planting seed garlic is also done the same way.