As summer draws to a close there is still work to be done around the garden. September brings warm days with cooler nights which many plants love. When it comes to your landscapes and gardens fall is a great time to plant new plants, trees and shrubs. Planting new plants in the fall allows the plants time to grow and establish a healthy root system, that will help them to prepare for the spring growing season and hot summers days.
There are a number of plants that can be planted in September and October. The most popular and easiest to plant are bulbs. There are many different types of flowering bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are some of the most popular, but there are more exotic Dutch bulbs, such as spring-flowering scilla, puschkinia, muscari, fritillaria, allium, camassia, and eremurus. The bulb packaging will tell you all the information you need to know about planting, growing season, and color.
Plant bulbs have a cycle that they need to go through in order to grow. Planting these bulbs in the fall allows the cooler temperatures to trigger this cycle, causing the bulbs to enter into a dormant stage which is critical for proper growth in the spring. Bulbs can be planted in September and October in the northern, cooler climate areas, and planted in October, November, or even December in warmer climates.
When you’re ready to put the bulbs into the ground, plant them in different patterns. You can lay them out in rows to outline a walkway or an edge for a flower bed, layer them by height putting the shorter growing ones in the front to create a “layered” look. Planting them in natural cluster patterns create beautiful patches of color in the spring. This is done by placing a taller growing bulb in the center of the hole and placing other bulbs around it, 2 to 4 inches apart.
Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2.5 to 3 times the diameter of the bulb. If the bulb is 2 inches in diameter then plant it at around 6 inches deep. Before placing the bulb in the hole, add some compost and some low-nitrogen bulb fertilizer to the soil. Place the bulbs, cover the holes and water generously.
It is import that the bulbs do not freeze; planting them at their proper depth will help this. Also you can put a lay of mulch or leaves on top of where they are planted. This will help insulate them from the extreme cold.
Once the bulb is in the ground, covered, and watered all you have to do is wait till spring to fill your garden with color. Flowering bulbs are relatively low maintenance and since they are perennials you only have to plant them once and they will grow year after year.