How-To Video: Planting Fall Bulbs
We call them “fall bulbs”, but they’re really fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs. Classics like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, freesias, Dutch irises, paperwhites etc.
- Buy only firm bulbs. Squeeze them. If they’re soft, they’re not fresh.
- In California, tulips, crocuses need chilling. Put them in the fridge—NOT the freezer!—until late December, then plant
- All others plant as soon as you buy them
- Bulbs look best planted in groups of the same kind. Better to buy one kind and more of them, than just a few of lots of types.
- Bulbs must have good drainage. If you have heavy (clay) soil, amend it. Lots.
- Bulbs need full sun or half-day sun.
- They need to dry out between watering.
- They like rich soil. Lots of organic amendment.
- Pointy end up.
- General rule, plant three times the height of the bulb deep. I.e., 1-inch bulb, three inches deep.
- EBS Bulb Food at bottom of hole.
- Cluster 2- to 3-inches apart.
- Firm amended soil on top
- Water once well. Then let fall and winter rains do the rest
- In bloom: water once a week.
- Feed at planting time
- In early spring (once they sprout leaves.)
After Bloom Care
- Cut of the dead flowers.
- DON’T cut of leaves. (Except tulips—OK.) They’re storing energy to bloom next year!
- Once foliage yellows, cut it off.
- They’ll pop up next spring and surprise you.