Fall Bulb Planting
October Landscaping Tip
Brought to you by Schneider Tree Care
October is the time to start thinking about planting fall bulbs. Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool, when evening temperatures average between 40° to 50° F. You should plant at least 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes. Narcissus, Crocus, Hyacinthus, Iris, Ranunculus and Tulipa are good choices for spring-blooming, fall-planted bulbs for our area (Zone 7b/8a).
If you purchase bulbs well in advance of planting, store them in a cool, dark, dry place until it is time to put them in the ground. Before setting out to plant, be sure the soil is amended well. This will make digging much easier, and allows roots to get established more quickly. Work compost or peat moss into the soil a week or more before planting to provide organic matter.
Be mindful that squirrels and other mammals may dig up bulbs for food during winter months, and deer may graze on the foliage and blooms in early spring (especially tulips). You may need to take preventative measures to protect your bulbs from wildlife, or choose bulbs/flowers that are not palatable to the local fauna. -By Emily Reed, DSBG Horticulturst