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Planting Bulbs in the Fall – How to Properly Plant

Planting bulbs in the fall might make some new gardeners nervous. After all, we like to get most of our plants in the ground in the spring. Planting spring flowering bulbs, however requires planting bulbs in the fall. Fear not! It’s easy. Here’s what you need to know.

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Planting Bulbs in the Fall – Easy Peasy

Planting bulbs is not all that difficult, and the process for planting bulbs in the fall is pretty much the same as planting them in the spring. It’s just a matter of knowing the basics and then following them. It’s really as easy as that. So let’s get into it!

Choose an Area

Bulb plants don’t like to be wet, so plant them in an area of the garden with good drainage. Be sure that spot gets plenty of sun, as well, since bulb plants love the sun.

Make the Bed

Like all plants, bulbs need adequate food to thrive. I recommend amending garden beds every year with the compost you’ve been making all season prior. It’s a great way to add an extra kick to your bulbs. Work in the amendment, loosening the soil to a depth of around 10″. Bulbs are generally planted anywhere between 5 and 8 inches deep, and you want those roots to be able to easily grow.

Tuck in Your Bulbs

One of the keys to planting bulbs in the fall is to be sure to get the nuances down. First thing’s first. Follow planting directions. The label will tell you what you need to known in regards to depth, watering and the like.

Secondly, make sure the bulbs are facing the right direction – pointy side up. With tulips the pointy side is so prominent, you can’t miss it. With bulbs like crocus, it’s tougher to tell. In general, look for the end of the bulb that is the smaller. That’s the point. Luckily, even if you don’t get it right, those suckers have a way of making it topside anyway.

One of the biggest, BIGGEST keys to planting bulbs in the fall is not to be too heavy handed. You want to place your bulbs at the recommended depth, then back fill the hole and LIGHTLY COMPRESS the soil. This is where most people mess up. Do NOT pack the soil. Lightly compressing it helps get out air and keep out bugs. Packing the soil makes it exceedingly difficult for shoots to break through.

After that, simply water the area thoroughly to promote root growth and you’re done. You don’t even need to water regularly after that, as the real action won’t start with the bulbs until spring. See? Easy peasy.

Planting Bulbs in the Fall – The Easiest Gardening You’ll Do

Planting bulbs in the fall is the easiest bit of gardening you’ll ever do. You don’t have to worry about breaking up roots or extra watering or anything else. All you need is a well turned bed and a light touch when you back fill, and you’re good to go. Give it a try and don’t forget to get the kids involved.

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Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

17 Comments

  • Pam Wattenbarger

    I used to have some beautiful tulips in the backyard. I really should plant some more bulbs. I know I would appreciate my effort when spring came around.

  • dana vento

    I love planting bulbs in the fall but then I forget that I did and the next spring all these beautiful flowers appear. It is a great time in the fall to plant because the rain helps the ground be a little more forgiving to my bulb digger. Great tips.

  • Susan

    I’m going to try this! My gardening skills are seriously lacking…I have yet to be successful with any of the plantings I’ve done in the past few years!

  • Sarah

    I’ve often heard that it’s actually great to plant things during the fall season. Things like grass seed, bulbs, flowers and even vegetables. Definitely some great tips and I may have to try it.

  • Courtneylynne

    These are some really great tips! I really should start planting bulbs. I keep telling myself I will then never do lol

  • Kathy

    I’m excited to finally be able to plant some flowers soon. If all goes well I’ll be closing on a house on Friday, so I can put some flowers around the home. This is a wonderful post about bulbs too.

  • Kendall

    These are such great tips! I really never did get into planting too much in the fall, but I think this year I will. Awesome post, thanks for sharing!