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Catching Sales and Planting Flower Bulbs
August 13, 2012

Welcome to the Flying Butterfly!

It's August and another summer has passed by too quickly. With Labor Day and back-to-school sales there is good news for gardeners to.

This is a great time to take advantage of sales on flower bulbs. Fall is when to plant bulbs ensuring early spring color for gardens. Oh yeah, many bulbs are deer resistant at a time of year when they are very hungry.

When selecting a location for planting bulbs:

  • Consider Lighting - Full sun, full shade or half of each.

  • Consider bulb flower colors and the height of each that will fill
    the area. Purchase about 5-7 bulbs for each flower type that
    fits the need.

  • Layering or Scattering?

    • Layering bulbs allows conservation of space with different bulbs blooming each at different times. One patch of soil can bloom all summer by layering different bulbs into it.

    • Scattering is planting bulbs where they fall when tossed.
      This creates a more natural, less structured look.

When buying flower bulbs:

  • Buy according to your needs as planned out above. This saves money and provides an outline, helping you to stay focused if
    there is a need for any revisions.

  • Read labels on each bulb container packet or catalog. Doing so provides information for successfully planting and blooming
    of flowers in spring.

  • Check quality of bulbs.

    • Bigger is better. Bigger bulbs produce bigger blooms or more of them. The bargain bulbs are usually smaller, which is still fine.

      Place the larger bulbs in high traffic areas where others can see them. Place the bargain bulbs in the background where there is less traffic.

    • If there is a torn tunic (layered papery covering of bulbs),
      it's OK. Investigate to make sure bulbs aren't moldy, mushy
      or nicked. If so, avoid buying.

When planting flower bulbs:

  • Loosen soil. Kill any weeds, if necessary. See the May Issue of
    The Flying Butterfly for a detailed breakdown of killing weeds and tilling soil.

  • The rule of thumb for planting is to place bulb 2-3 times deep as
    it is long. For example, a 2" bulb will be planted 4-6" in the ground.

    Deep planting, or planting bulbs 10-12" into soil is a good idea for:

    • Prevention of rodents digging up bulbs.

    • Allows cultivation of annuals and perennials on top of soil without disturbing bulbs.

  • Plant the 5-7 bulbs in an area to create patches of colors
    (Layering different bulbs in soil or scatter, if you prefer.)

Plant bulbs 6-8 weeks before ground freezes
and before first hard frost.

  • For Canada and top 1/3rd horizontal belt across United States:
    Plant September through early October.

  • The middle 1/3rd horizontal belt across United States: Plant mid-October.

  • The lowest and warmest 1/3 horizontal belt across the states:
    Plant bulbs in November through early December.

There are nurseries that focus only on quality bulbs. Order a catalog and study the information on each flower bulb type. This will help greatly for each personal gardening preference and situation.

Bulbs are diverse. They can be used in rock gardens, creating garden borders and flower bouquets. Another idea is creating a container, or planter using bulbs only.

If you try container gardening with bulbs make sure containers are deep enough to layer bulbs and that there are holes in the bottom for drainage.

On a final note...

Recently I interviewed Jon and Kristyn Kolozvary, of the GreenSmith Garden Center and Landscaping company. If you live close by Hinckley Ohio, stop in and visit them for Customer Appreciation Night on Monday, August 27th. More information at: GreenSmith

To check out my interview with GreenSmith's click here.

Happy Butterfly Gardening!

Elizabeth @ Easy Butterfly Garden

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