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Growing Spring Bulbs
 One of the joys of gardening is seeing colorful spring flowers pop up February and March and help chase away the gray days of winter. Several spring bulbs are very easy to grow and can return reliably each year. These are the best bulbs for beginners.
    Bulbs are basically a storage device that contains the embryo plant as well as the food the new plant needs to grow above ground. They give a quick start to the plant and provide a way of multiplying the planting.
   Most  bulbs divide when they grow large enough and also put out small bulblets that can eventually produce full size plants.
    Some people plant bulbs in beds to provide an early show of bright colors. Others prefer to place clumps dotted through the yard giving them a natural look. This is known as "naturalizing".

   A bulb planter is a garden tool shaped like a hollow cylinder with a handle for pulling out small clumps of turf so that bulbs can be added to a yard without much digging.

    Spring bulbs are planted about three times deeper than their diameter. For best results, the soil should be well prepared since bulbs are a permanent additions to the garden.

  Bulbs should be planted in groups of three to seven bulbs as they look more natural in clumps than in rows. Larger groupings are suitable for smaller bulbs.

    To keep spring bulbs flowering and prospering each year, it is important to let the leaves remain on the plant until they turn brown which usually happens in early or midsummer. The energy that the green leaves provide replenish the starches in the bulb and get it ready for the next season.


Video on naturalizing spring bulbs.

    Crocus ----very early, Crocus is one of the earliest flowers to pop up in the spring, as early as February. About four inches tall, The blooms are purple, yellow, or white. Crocus is basically care free but it takes a lot of bulbs to make a fair size display.It will bloom in snow or ice.

       Daffodils --Very reliable, there are varieties of daffodils that will bloom from very early to late spring and come in sizes up to 18 inches tall.

Narcissus and jonquils are names for the same or similar plants. Colors are limited to shades of yellow or white. Some varieties have orange inner cups.

      Paper white Narcissus are often "forced" during the winter months indoors by planting in shallow containers of water and pebbles. The bulbs sprout and produce blooms using their own stored food reserves.

     Daffodils and other Narcissus are poisonous and are avoided by gophers and most other creatures. The bulbs tend to gradually multiply over time. The plants should be allowed to grow as long as the leaves are green. When they turn brown, around May, the foliage can be mowed or pulled out without harming the plant. The bulbs can then be safely removed, divided, and relocated.

   Plant daffodils in late summer or fall to a depth of at least three times their diameter. Group the bulbs with no less than three together to give a "natural" look.


     Grape Hyacinth--Carefree, these 4 inch tall plants don't make much of a show alone, so grow them a dozen or more per group. The flower stalks have blooms resembling a small bunch of grapes. The plants multiply by seeds and by division of the bulbs. Start new clumps by planting them three inches deep about three inches apart. The leaves are very long and not very attractive lying limp on the ground. They are a very easy flower for beginners.


     Tulips --Tulips have the bright colors of spring, but are not as carefree as some other spring bulbs. Tulips have short bloom seasons, though they can look great for a few days.
  The bulbs tend to divide after a few seasons and the smaller plants usually don't bloom, so expect to replace tulips every few years.  Large, quality bulbs will last longer.  Planting bulbs deeper than normal will slow the division of the bulbs.

growing crocus Crocus in bloom


More information:


Growing Tulips

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