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If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to being greeted in the Spring with a garden full of gorgeous blooms. And that’s exactly why it’s the perfect time to get a copy of my FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNER.
Fall Bulbs are compact bundles of flower power that we lovingly plant before Winter’s frost hits. And, depending on your Planting Zone, that can be anytime between September and January. Then the waiting game begins.
Now when I talk about Fall “bulbs” in this article, that also includes tuberous roots, tubers, corms and rhizomes, which are not “true bulbs”.
I bet you always thought crocus, peonies and day lilies were bulbs, but as I just learned myself, they’re not!
TWO TYPES OF TRUE BULBS:
Tunicate Bulbs –
Imbricate/Non-Tunicate Bulbs –
Despite not appearing like bulbs at all, they share some characteristics such as possessing underground stems that store food for the plant.
But these stone-like corms don’t have fleshy leaves or scales. In fact they can appear very much like rocks when planting them.
Unlike true bulbs, as the food supplies are depleted, the corm shrinks and is no longer able to rebloom.
No worries, new corms begin to form and in several years become viable enough to bloom again.
Gladiolus, crocus and freesia are great examples of Fall planted corms.
Rhizomes are underground stems that grow horizontally like the bamboo plant. Yes, some of these types of plants are invasive in nature, but let’s not give them all a bad rap.
One of my favorite flowers for dramatic bouquets are the bearded iris, which are indeed rhizomes. But despite being a rhizome, it’s slow growing and easy to keep corralled within your garden beds.
Some more examples of beautiful rhizomes include lily of the valley, ground ivy and cast iron plants.
Yes, I know that ivy can indeed be invasive, but it does make a fabulous large area ground cover. One caveat though, most ivy varieties don’t like too much sun. They can easily burn if exposed to excessive sunlight.
Tubers are yet another type of swollen stem, but they tend to have a leathery exterior and have eyes or “growth nodes”.
Remember how we grew potatoes in elementary school from a chunk with an eye attached? That’s exactly the process we’re talking about here.
They’re especially easy to propagate in the Spring by simply cutting of a healthy piece with at least three eyes in it. Just plant it in a new spot and watch it grow!
The best examples of tubers include cyclamen, caladium, dahlias and peonies, which I happen to love!
Similar to this type of tuber, but not quite the same are TUBEROUS ROOTS. The best example I can give for this kind of plant is a Tuberous Begonias, except they don’t propagate the same way.
Check out which Hardiness Zone you live in and find the month best for planting your Fall Bulbs. Depending on your geographical location, you could be planting any time between September and Early January.
I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina, so many years we get our first frost long before Thanksgiving. That means I’m already planning and purchasing my bulbs for a mid-October planting session.
Don’t dilly-dally, especially if you live in a Northern state, it’s time to start planning!
This particular graphic contains the recommended Fall bulb planting times for the zones contained in the United States.
I included the Hardiness map for the entire Northern American continent for our Canadian gardening friends too.
It’s kind of strange to see January on the chart, I know. But if you’ve ever lived in South Florida, you know that it never actually gets cool.
Therefore, those folks need to take some additional steps for their Fall bulbs before planting.
Zones 4 to 7:
In colder climates, spring-flowering bulbs can be planted as soon as the ground is cool, evening temperatures averaging 50°F. This should be at least 6 to 8 weeks before the ground in your area normally freezes.
If timed right, this should be as soon as possible after purchase. However, bulbs can be stored in the refrigerator if needed until planting.
Zones 8 to 10:
In warmer climates, spring-flowering bulbs will need to be chilled in the refrigerator or cool spot for 6 to 10 weeks until the ground cools enough for planting. (See my tips below for over-wintering your bulbs)
When the proper Fall or Winter month arrives, we lovingly dig holes and bury Fall bulbs in our garden beds. They spend the cold months in the earth putting down roots and manufacturing the food they will use to feed the plants once they begin growing above-ground.
Then the visible parts of the plants begin to grow by consuming the bulb’s nutrients and performing photosynthesis with the help of the lengthening sunlight hours.
Because the deep South doesn’t have an extended cold period, spring-flowering bulbs require a little different treatment.
Flowering bulbs usually require exposure to cooler temperatures in order to produce blooms. If bulbs don’t receive adequate chilling, it usually results in poor blooming or no flowers at all.
So if you are living in a Zone 10 area, you just need to follow some simple steps for bountiful blooms. It’s generally recommended that you chill your bulbs for a period of 8 weeks to mimic Winter.
Let’s get a little more specific…
Here’s some specific tips for warm weather areas:
Flowering bulbs should to be planted in a spot that has plenty of sunlight and good drainage.
A good rule of thumb is that the area should receive at least 6 hours of sunshine per day.
Flowering bulbs like a slightly sandy/loamy soil. It should provide plenty of drainage and some additional nutrients that the plants can utilize for optimum growth and flowering.
When we moved to this house, I found that the “garden” was really just a few plants with some soil placed around them. The remaining soil was almost all clay and rocks.
I attempted to start removing the rocks on my own, but the task proved too daunting. The gentleman and son that I hired ended up with almost a full pickup truck of my stones!
The last two years I’ve bought a truckload of soil at the beginning of the growing season to help build up the garden. A few more loads should do it!
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TABOR TOOLS 3 Piece Bulb Planting Garden Tool Set – All you need to give your flower bulbs a fabulous start! The kit includes a bulb planter, dibber and transplanter.
Houzz – David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc.
If you’re like me, I pour over gardening and home magazines looking for inspiration before making any holes in my garden. How you plant your Fall bulbs will completely depend on the vibe you want for your garden and property.
You can scatter bulbs under your trees for a relaxed “meadow” feel. Or if you want a more structured, formal garden with borders, it will take a little more planning.
Please be aware that many types of flowering bulbs will naturalize in the area that you planted them and will multiply. They’ll come back each Spring, so be sure to take that into consideration during the planning stages. Give them room to spread into a glorious display.
Don’t forget that you can always manage their spreading by dividing the plants and starting a new cluster in a different spot. That’s the true beauty of most Fall bulbs!
So, how are you going to plan your Fall Bulb Planting this year? Would you like a little helping hand from your friend, The Lifestyle Diva? I’ve got you covered!
Let me show you my FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNER and tell you exactly how to use it most effectively.
Start Creating Your Dream Spring Flower Garden today!
Don’t let the thought of planning your garden prevent you from having a fabulous display of flowering plants all Spring and Summer long.
I’ve created the perfect planning tool for you! It’s got 13 pages of worksheets, diagrams and monthly planting calendars to help you visualize and plant the flower garden you’ve always wanted.
Here’s what’s inside my FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNER:
Most of the worksheets are self-explanatory, but I’ll point out a few of the great features of this Fall Bulb Planting Planner.
When I’m at the very beginning of the planning stage, I’ll look at the types of flowers I’d like to have in my garden and then fill in my Fall Bulb Height Worksheets.
This tells me how tall each kind will grow, thereby helping me position them correctly throughout the garden. Some might not really fit within your final plan and won’t make the cut. That’s why you do this first!
Next I’ll start browsing catalogs and grower’s websites to determine what plants I want and how much they’ll cost. I fill in my Fall Bulb Planting Planner Budget Sheet and then see where I need to cut costs if necessary.
Once that’s done, it’s time to decide where and how many of each plant/color to put into the various plots. I use both the Fall Bulb Planner Journal and Plot Planner in tandem to work out the locations and quantities of my plants.
This is the time to figure out WHEN to plant all these gorgeous bulbs in your garden beds, NOT AFTER YOU PURCHASE THEM! Use your Fall Bulb Planting Schedule Calendar pages to enter the dates that the various bulbs need to go in the ground.
Once you’ve determined your planting Zone, you’ll know exactly the right timing for your planting sessions.
I usually have too many bulbs to plant in a single day, so I’ll use the calendar to decide what days will work in my schedule. Of course, that’s up to Mother Nature to decide. Rainy days and soggy ground do not make for great planting!
To the right you can see the Fall Bulb Plot Planner completed with the plans for a South Side Garden plot.
Now you’re ready to start BUYING BULBS! That’s where the Fall Bulb Planner Purchase Log comes in. As you place your orders, fill in the log to keep track of what flowers you have coming and to stay within the budget.
You’ll want to check your Purchase Log against the Plot Planner pages to make sure you’re ordering the correct plants and quantities. What a snap this planner makes the whole process!
If you want to wake up one Spring morning to a garden full of glorious blooms, you need to start planning today!
Download your Fall Bulb Planting Planner and let the fun begin! I’ll tell you how to get yours at the bottom of this post.
You’ll want to check out this informative article that share the 7 Essential Elements For Fabulous Fall Outdoor Living Spaces!
Don’t let this beautiful Autumn weather go to waste – Get your outdoor space ready for some cool-temperature entertaining!
CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST: 7 Essential Elements For Fabulous Fall Outdoor Living Spaces
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