Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 5
October 2007
 
Fall Bulbs
 


In temperate regions with four seasons, autumn is a great time to prepare gardens for next spring. Adding bulbs to flowerbeds in the fall should result in lovely blooms after the spring thaw.

Spring-flowering bulbs are planted in autumn because they're hardy in colder temperate climates and they require a cool dormant period of at least 8 to 12 weeks before they can produce flower buds. The planted bulbs develop roots until the ground freezes. If you live in a warmer climate, spring-flowering bulbs can be forced in a refrigerator at approximately 40ºF–50ºF / 5ºC–10ºC (above freezing) for at least 8 to 10 weeks, or until signs of growth are apparent.


Fall bulbs
An assortment of fall bulbs, including hyacinth (hyacinthus orientalis), tulip (tulipa) and grape hyacinth (muscari).



Bulbs can be planted until the ground is frozen or no longer workable. Daffodils and narcissus should be planted earlier (beginning of September to late October). Other bulbs, especially tulips, can be planted from early September through to mid-December, as long as the ground is not frozen solid.

When purchasing bulbs, look for good-sized, firm ones—these will produce the best blooms. Discard any that show signs of rot, are soft, or crumble when squeezed.

 
 

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