After a long winter, spring flowering bulbs add a colorful display when most of us need it the most. Choose spring flowering bulbs that are best suited for your particular area. Preparing the soil at the time you plant is the key to large, healthy flowering bulbs.
Choose healthy bulbs. Don’t plant bulbs that are dry and withered, spongy or moldy. Most spring flowering bulbs prefer full sunlight. Plant your bulbs in well draining soil to prevent rotting in cool weather. If you live in an area that has cold winters, you can plant your bulbs as long as the soil is soft enough to dig. Always plant your spring flowering bulbs with the pointed side up. This is the stem of the plant. Bulbs should be planted at a depth of 3 times the bulbs diameter. Mix some bone meal or superphosphate into the soil at the bottom of the hole when planting to encourage strong root growth.
If you have a problem with squirrels and other animals digging up your bulbs or eating the plants, try planting daffodils, hyacinths and crown imperials. Most animals don’t like the way these plants taste. You could also sprinkle some red pepper in the planting hole to help stop rodents from eating the bulbs. A more secure method of protecting your bulbs is to make a cage out of hardware cloth. The roots and stems of the bulbs can grow through but the rodents can’t get bulb.
Plant your spring flowering bulbs in clusters so when they bloom, the flowers will look like a bouquet. Or plant small bulbs right on top of larger bulbs. If these two bulbs flower at the same time, it creates a colorful two-tone effect.
When selecting colors for your bulbs choose “warm” colors like reds and yellows to evoke feelings of passion and energy and choose “cool” colors such as blues and greens for a more laid back and serene feel. When your flowers have finished blooming, cut back the flower stalks to ground level. Don’t cut back the flowers while they are still green because they need time to photosynthesize and make food reserves for next year’s flowers.