Monday, October 14, 2013

Plants to Plant In Fall for Spring Rewards

The fall season here in my Zone 6 garden in SW Ohio has been beautiful.  Sufficient rainfall, and extremely mild temperatures have blessed us for several weeks.   It was because of this wonderful weather, that I had to do a double take when I realized that calendar had moved ahead and now I have to hustle to get some fall chores done.

One chore is to select and plant spring flowering bulbs.  Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, and Crocus had completely slipped my mind.  So, getting a good selection of bulbs is timely.  The longer the bulbs sit at the garden center, the more dried out and moldy they can become. 300%20True%20bulb%20of%20narcissusimages (12)

images (5)
bulb planter
Select firm bulbs. If they are mushy, the bulb will struggle to get established and may rot over winter.  The ideal time to plant spring flowering bulbs is October until the ground freezes.  I have successfully planted daffodil bulbs in December in my garden. I rarely endure a spring bonanza of color without regretting that I did not plant more bulbs in the fall.  images (6)

Soil depths of bulbs depends on the diameter of the bulb.  Large tulip and daffodil bulbs need to be 6” – to 8” deep.  Where smaller crocus or muscari bulbs (grape hyacinths)  need to be planted about 2 times (2x) the bulb’s diameter.
bulb chart

Bulbs can be used in containers also.  They need the same depth as if it was going into the ground.  Layering the bulbs will give an extended bloom time for the different bulbs.  This bouquet is lovely at a doorway or on a patio.
The small secondary, or minor bulbs and corms need a place in the garden too.  Tuck into the beds around other established plants small bulbs or corms like Anemone, Scilla, Glory in the Snow, or Snowdrops.

glory in the sno chionodoxa
Glory in the Snow
snow drop from bulbs
Snow Drops
Since these blooms appear in the early spring, the sun/shade factor is of minimal concern, because the deciduous trees and shrubs will not have a full canopy of leaves to shade the planting areas.
Eranthis hyemalis, or Winter Aconite, appears in the woodland garden in late winter.  bulbs are available from on-line merchants like Amazon (here) and garden centers now for fall planting.

Winter Aconite

The late winter garden is brought to life with the early blooming Witch Hazel.  The dozens of varieties are available as shrub or small trees. Fall planting of Witch Hazel is going to get the plant established before the ground freezes.   This is truly wonderful promise of spring to come.


Hellebores can also be planted in October.  The garden under deciduous trees is idea, as Hellebores like the winter sun, and summer shade.  Soil should be amended with organic matter. Plant away from soggy, low areas. hellebores in containers
These Hellebores are in containers.  This elevates them somewhat so the low, downward blooms are easily enjoyed.

Whether planting bulbs, shrubs, or perennials, October is the time to focus on Spring. Don't let spring next year be a time when you shake your head in a 'Would-a, Could-a, Should-a' moment'.

(Amazon pays me a small commission for online purchases.  Thanks for shopping with me).

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