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Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by Diane Hoffmaster
Can you plant bulbs in spring? YES! You definitely can! Summer-blooming flowers like dahlia and gladiolus are best planted in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Early spring is the best time to look for summer bulbs for sale at your local nursery.
Planting flower bulbs in the spring is a great way to add blooms and color to your garden. Plus, planting them early gives them plenty of time to develop strong root systems before summer comes around. What bulbs are planted in the spring? Keep reading to find out!
The Best Time To Plant Flower Bulbs
With the weather already warming up here in Georgia, we have daffodils blooming and the scent of hyacinths in the air. While most bulbs are planted in the fall for spring blooming, you can still plant bulbs even after the snow melts.
Planting bulbs in spring will bring you a nice rainbow of colors in your yard during the summer. However, you need to follow a few of these easy planting tips and make sure to buy the right type of bulb. I will share a few tips and affiliate links to get you started on your bulb-planting journey!
How to plant bulbs
You need to follow a few basic steps to start planting spring bulbs in your yard. If you do your research ahead of time, you will greatly increase your chance of summer flowers!
Choose the proper depth
Most bulbs have to be planted 2 to 3 times deeper than they are tall. So, if the bulb is 3 inches tall, you should plant it approximately 6 to 9 inches into the soil. It may sound deep but don't worry, the flowers will find their way out of the soil when the time is right! The Garden Weasel Bulb Planter will make things much easier!
Make sure your spot is well drained
Bulbs are meant to stick around and come back year after year. If you plant them in an area that is too wet, they will rot and never come back up again. Make sure your soil is well drained before planting.
Don't forget to fertilize
Before you plant your spring bulbs, make sure to turn in some compost to boost the nutrient availability of the soil. If you don't make your own compost, buy a bulb fertilizer instead.
Plant after the last freeze date
The last thing you want is for your bulbs to start growing and then have those tender shoots freeze! Make sure you don't plant before the last freeze date in your area. This information can be found online or through your local extension office.
To find the last frost date for your region, you can check with your local cooperative extension service or visit a website such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac for a detailed map of average first and last frost dates in the US. Knowing when this date is will ensure that you plant your bulbs at the right time so they won't be damaged by frost.
Consider planting in containers
Many spring bulbs will grow well in containers. Then, once fall arrives, you can transplant them into the ground to overwinter and hopefully get a new crop of flowers the following spring. A sleek bulb pan is a good container to start planting them in.
Planting Bulbs in Spring for Summer Flowers
Spring-planted flower bulbs usually result in very vibrantly colored summer flowers. They are perfect for putting in pots on your front porch or for lining walkways and landscaping edges. Make sure you plant plenty of extras so that you can cut them for a vase on your counter! Here are a few bulbs that you can plant in spring for vibrant summer flowers:
Dahlia bulbs like full sun and grows to about 12 inches high. You can find them in a variety of sizes, unique colors, and unexpected flower shapes. They will be most prolific during the late summer.
While gladiolus don't take up much ground space, they do grow up to 5 feet tall so plan your garden accordingly. They come in classic solid colors or even a few bicolors and even tricolors! Get a mixed gladiolus bulb package for a wide variety of colors.
Also known as "The Pearl", it makes beautiful, pristine white flowers that produce a heavenly scent. It grows about 3 feet tall and likes full sun. They are considered easy-to-grow bulbs so even a newbie gardener should have good success with this one.
Calla Lilies are low-growing and produce trumpet-shaped flowers. They will perform well even in partial shade, along garden borders, and even in patio planters.
Begonia bulbs are available in a huge variety of flower shapes, colors, and heights. They thrive in the shade, unlike many other types of flowering plants. You can start them indoors in early spring and then set them outside once all threat of frost is gone.
Planting bulbs in spring isn't difficult, you just have to have a little bit of patience to finally see those beautiful flowers in late summer. While you wait for your plants to bloom, consider buying some flats of annuals from your local garden center for a quick burst of color around the mailbox or in a window box.
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.
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