Planting Fall Bulbs
Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
So if you still have bulbs you were meaning to plant earlier in the fall, it’s not too late to plant those spring flowering bulbs today on Southern Gardening.
The first group of plants you should consider are the spring flowering bulbs. This group of plants includes tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and many others that grow from bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and tubers.
Planting bulb crops is not the instant color associated with planting bedding plants. Bulb crops must be planted when the soil temperatures are cooler and with sufficient moisture. In Mississippi, any time up to and after Thanksgiving is a good time to plant bulbs. This allows the root system to become established and support foliage and flower growth through the winter and spring.
Planting bulbs has gotten easier over the years with the advent of specialty bulb augers. Simply attach the auger to a cordless drill and drill holes to the desired depth, place the bulb and cover. Done!
The depth of hole is determined by the size of the bulb. Generally, a hole 2 ½ times deeper than the bulb diameter is sufficient. Always plant in the correct orientation, this refers to the wide side down, and pointed end up. If some of the bulbs end up upside down, don’t worry. Mother Nature will help the roots and shoots get growing in the right directions. Some bulbs may have a papery covering called a tunic. Do not remove as this provides protection to the bulb.
Fertilization is not required for the first year. In subsequent years a general 10-10-10 garden fertilizer is sufficient at about 1 ½ lbs per 100 ft2. Now, get out there and put those bulbs in the ground. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.