You’ve planned and planted and loved your summer flower garden. You’ve even grown a few of tomatoes and veggies this year. But now it’s time to plan for more colorful flowers for a show of color next spring. That’s right: next spring. That’s because if you want easy, carefree spring color, you need to plant spring-flowering bulbs this fall. The great thing is that most bulbs are as low maintenance as it gets, and they’re relatively inexpensive, too. Plant them once, and most types come back for years. Just make sure they’re suited to survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here).
When planting spring bulbs, get them in the ground in a sunny spot before the ground freezes (that’s late fall for most of the country). Dig a hole that’s about two to three times the height of your bulb, and stick it in pointy-side up. If you’re not sure which end is up, plant them on their side in the hole. Nature will know what to do! For the most dramatic effect, plant in groups, rather than one or two here and there in your landscape. That’s all you need to do to enjoy flowers that will pop up next spring, just about the time when you can’t take one more gloomy winter day.
One last tip: Next year, let the foliage fade and wither naturally before removing it so the bulb can make more food to bloom again next year (it’s that whole photosynthesis thing at work!).