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Gardening with Kids

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10 Easy Steps to Bulb Gardening

  1. Select bulbs for your zone. Plant September to December.
  2. The larger the better (the larger the flower).
  3. Store in a dry, cool, place until the bulbs can be planted.
  4. Choose your site - just about anywhere will do but it must have good drainage. Naturalize them - rock gardens, wooded areas, beds, lawns, in ground covers, under trees and shrubs if beds have been made.
  5. Check and make sure your bulb "spot" has direct sunlight. Although there are some bulbs that prefer some shade.
  6. Add organic matter.
  7. Keep in mind the rule of thumb: plant bulbs 2 ½ times deeper than the diameter of the bulb. The exceptions are: crinum and amaryllis bulbs. Amaryllis are planted about 1/3 above ground and crinums need to be planted 2 times the width of the bulb. Do not forget to water.
  8. Plant in groups of 3, 5, 7, or mass plant for naturalizing. Stay away from the "line 'em up soldiers" method. Keep in mind your color.
  9. Cover and mulch to protect from frost up-heaving.
  10. Fertilize at time of planting and in the spring when they bloom. Use a super phosphate. Bone meal may attract animal digging.

When blooming has finished and faded for the season, wait until the foliage has died naturally. The flower heads may be scissored off but let the leaves and the stems die a natural death. This is the period of time when the bulbs are manufacturing the food to produce flowers for the following year.

Remember, not all bulbs last forever.

Bulbs: to dig up or not?

Tip: Don't wait until the last sale on bulbs - get them full, fresh, hard, and viable.