before the first freezeSometimes it’s hard to imagine months ahead what we want our spring garden and yard to look like. Yet, now is the time to start thinking about planting new bulbs for next spring. Spring-blooming bulbs must be planted several weeks before the first freeze. If you live in the south, in zone 9, you may even need to chill your bulbs for several weeks before planting.
It is not as easy as just dropping the bulbs in and leaving them, but planting bulbs for spring is not overly difficult either. Check with your local nursery or garden center to get advice on when to plant. Also, assess your yard and the layout you are going for. Remember, if planting bulbs you will have to let them set even after the blooms have fallen off to recharge for the next growing season.
Plan ahead by placing them where the dying foliage is either camouflaged or where you won’t be mowing down the foliage too soon. With all that being said, here are some of the best bulbs for fall planting that will come up beautifully in the spring.
- Dutch Iris: The Dutch Iris comes in beautiful blues, yellows and magenta purples. This colorful flower grows to be about two feet tall, and create the lovely allusion of a spring meadow when planted among ornamental grasses. This also allows a camouflaged effect when the blooms fall and you are waiting for the leaves to do their post bloom job of preparing for next spring. This bulb does well in almost every zone and naturalizes well which means you will enjoy them year after year.
- Darwin Hybrid Tulip: Darwin Hybrid Tulips are the largest variety of tulip and grow to be about two feet high. These flowers are great for tall vases, and their large cuplike appearance makes them a lovely addition to any flower bed. Coming in many colors, you can find orange, yellow, pink and white varieties to spice up your garden. Southern gardeners will need to chill the bulbs in the refrigerator for about six weeks prior to planting.
- Parrot Tulip: This tulip is a more open tulip with ruffled edges. The Parrot tulip is so named because the mixture of colors can be a vibrant and varied as a parrot. Planted in large containers, these bulbs produce beautiful flowers that bring color screaming into spring. Another good way to display these flowers is to plant on a low hill behind white or purple violas.
- Daffodil: A traditional favorite, the daffodil is a plucky little flower that stands the test of time. They tend to survive year after year no matter the damage done to the growing area. The beauty of the daffodil has even been immortalized in the famous poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” when the poet gushes over the lasting impression a field of daffodils made upon his life. You can never go wrong with a daffodil in your glower garden.
These best bulbs for fall will allow you to plan ahead and get started on those spring blooms that will be coming up over the long winter!