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flower garden using fall bulbs

FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNER

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!

 

A BULB IS JUST A BULB, ISN’T IT?

TWO TYPES OF TRUE BULBS:fall bulb planting planner

Tunicate Bulbs

  • These are the bulbs that have a papery outer-skin that protects the plant’s food source. The best examples are tulips, daffodils and alliums.

 

Imbricate/Non-Tunicate Bulbs

  • Thick and plump, these bulbs remain moist without any outer layer. My absolute favorite kind are the many varieties of lilies that are available every season.

 

 

 

PLANT CORMS

fall bulb planting plannerDespite 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. 

 

 

RHIZOMESfall bulb planting planner and guide

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.

 

PLANT TUBERS

peony fall bulbs in gardenTubers 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.

 

NORTH AMERICA USDA HARDINESS CHART

north american usda hardiness map

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!

fall bulb planting schedule by month and zone

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. 

 

 

 

WHEN TO PLANT FALL BULBS IN YOUR GARDEN

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)

 

HOW FLOWER BULBS GROW

When the proper Fall or Winter month arrives, we lovingly dig holes and bury Fall bulbs in ourfall bulb planting planner 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…

 

WARM CLIMATE ZONES NEED THEIR OWN SET OF RULES!

Here’s some specific tips for warm weather areas:

  • First, label your bulbs so you can properly identify them when it comes time to plant. Small bulbs can be stored inside paper bags to let them breathe (never plastic). Just write the description on the bags.
  • Larger bulbs can be placed inside ventilated container loosely filled with peat moss, vermiculite or sawdust.
  • Layer the bulbs between the storage medium, taking care to keep them from touching each other.
  • Place the containers in a cool, dry place that remains around 50 F.
  • A dry, unheated garage, basement or root cellar are all good spots as long as they remain above freezing.
  • Make sure to check your bulbs several times during the Winter. If you spot any shriveled, moldy or rotting bulbs, toss them. (Very small rotten spots can be cut out with a sterile knife) Throw out any moldy packing material too.
  • If you notice the bulbs are drying out, lightly mist the packing material and repack them in layers again.
  • When I lived in South Florida, I kept mine in the garage refrigerator.  Worked like a charm!  

 

WHERE SHOULD YOU PLANT YOUR FALL BULBS?

fall bulb planting guideFlowering 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!

 

HOW TO PLANT YOUR FALL BULBS  

  • Determine the planting depth for the type of bulb you’re planting. When planted too deep, flowers will bloom late or not at all. If planted too shallow, new growth may become exposed too soon and risk damage by cold temperatures. Not sure? A good rule of thumb is to plant the bulb 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall.
  • Prepare the soil by loosening and mixing in organic material if needed for added nutrients or to improve drainage. Special bulb fertilizer can be added; follow the package directions.
  • Place the bulbs with the pointy-end up and with the roots down. If you’re not sure of the top or bottom of the bulb, plant it on its side and it will find its way to the surface.
  • Cover with soil and a light layer of mulch.
  • Newly planted bulbs should be watered well to get settled in.
  • If needed, protect bulbs from critters by staking down wire mesh or chicken wire over the beds or planting them in bulb baskets or wire cages.

 

THESE ARE MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR PLANTING BULBS

BUY AT WALMART:  TABOR TOOLS 3-PC BULB PLANTING TOOL SET

TABOR TOOLS 3 Piece Bulb Planting Garden Tool Set – All you need to give your flower bulbs a3 piece flower bulb planting set of tools fabulous start!  The kit includes a bulb planter, dibber and transplanter.

  • TRANSPLANTER: This tool is ideal for transplanting small plants and flowers. The padded soft grip ergonomic handle provides exceptional grip and comfortable use. The gradation marks on the blade make it easy to measure depth for perfect transplants and the polished cast-aluminum head resists rust and won’t bend or break while digging.
  • DIBBER: The metal dibber has a sharp, pointy spike for puncturing the ground to make deep precise holes. It is made to last from strong metal, lacquered with Duroplast to prevent rusting.
  • BULB PLANTING TOOL: This is a great bulb planter with a spring-loaded handle ands an automatic soil release mechanism, which allows for quicker planting. The bulb planting tool includes depth marker for more consistent planting. Planter measures approximately 9″ tall with a 5″ wide handle and 2.5″ diameter base.

 

 

fall bulb planting planner

Houzz – David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc.

FABULOUS FLOWER GARDENS BEGIN WITH A PLAN

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!

Here’s some tips on the best ways to plan for planting your Fall Bulbs:

  • Decide on a color “palette” for your garden; Repeating different shades of the same 3 colors will give you harmonious, yet varied flower beds.
  • When choosing your colors, think about how those colors will blend with the existing surroundings. 
  • Plant in clusters for greater visual impact.
  • Take into account bloom time — plant a combination of early, mid- and late-season bloomers to extend the season.
  • Hide dying foliage of low-growing bulbs that are past their prime with taller bulbs planted in front or with companion plants.
  • Layer plant heights from front to back when planting varieties that will bloom at the same time.

 

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.

 

FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNER 

Start Creating Your Dream Spring Flower Garden today! 

fall bulb planting planner

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:

  • Fall Bulb Height Worksheets (2 pgs)
  • Fall Bulb Garden Budget
  • Bulb Purchase Log Sheet
  • Fall Bulb Planting Journal
  • Garden Planner Graph Worksheet (entire garden/property)
  • Fall Bulb Plot Planner (individual flower beds)
  • September 2021 – January 2022 Planting Schedule Calendars 

 

Most of the worksheets are self-explanatory, but I’ll point out a few of the great features of this Fall Bulb Planting Planner.

 

HOW TO USE THE FALL BULB PLANTING PLANNERfall bulb planting planner budge page

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.  

 

WHEN WILL YOU BE PLANTING?

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!

 

FALL BULB PLOT PLANNERfall bulb plot planner page filled in

To the right you can see the Fall Bulb Plot Planner completed with the plans for a South Side Garden plot.

  • First, take the rough measurements of your plant bed and make a rough sketch of its shape; draw it on your Plot Planner
  • Next, you’ll want to place any existing plantings into the diagram.  Here you can see there are several bushes and a tree just off-center.
  • Then fill in the key at the bottom with the types of plants you’ll be using for this particular plant bed as shown in the sample page.
  • Now, close you eyes and start envisioning the colors and flowers you’ve chosen.  Start filling in your plot planner, keeping in mind the tips that I mentioned a bit earlier.  Clustering and graduated height rows are both very effective landscaping techniques that will help give a more polished look to your garden.
  • Try coloring in the bulbs with the colors of the flowers to help you see the whole bed’s color scheme from an overhead viewpoint
  • When you’re finished, you’ll have a planting plan that will tell you exactly where to plant which flowers.  Now you can enlist some help, because your diagram will show them the way!

 

IT’S FINALLY TIME TO BUY YOUR FALL BULBS!

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.

 

DON’T NEGLECT YOUR OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING SPACES THIS FALL!

You’ll want to check out this informative article that share the 7 Essential Elements For Fabulous Fall Outdoor Living Spaces!

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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