Wednesday, September 28, 2016

T'is the season for Fall planting

Yes gardeners, it's that time of year again as we can start preparing our gardens for our fall bulb planting. Whether it's daffodils or hardneck garlic...'tis the season.  I'm sure you all have had lots of time since this past spring dreaming or designing what you may like to plant this fall, right...? Well,  if you haven't had time or given it a thought, then read on as these simple little tips, they may help and it really is just that simple to plant and end up with a beautiful display next spring. 
It could be a daunting task to visualize what might look good together, or the amounts to plant in certain areas...  that's where the selected themed gardens will come in handy.  If you want to try to make your own design then we have that covered as well.

Fall bulbs are so easy to plant and only require minimal care, just a little bit of patience as we make it through the winter months.  These types of bulbs are to be planted in the fall as they need at least 10-12 weeks of cold temperatures to stratify (otherwise known as cold treatment) which will result in a successful and beautiful display in the spring. For more detailed instructions on planting these bulbs, you can check these easy to follow steps.

Much has been spoken about on the beauty of these plants, but really what is the trick in making them look so stunning? The following simple tips and ideas will hopefully spark your imagination and remember part of the fun of any type of gardening is experimenting and trying something new.

As I mentioned, tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, to name a few, are only planted in the fall season as they need the cool temperatures of the winter and warm spring time temperatures to force them to bloom.  It's really very interesting to think that nature has them programed this way and sets them apart from many other types of flowers.

As you set out to plant your bulbs the most important rule when planting is to choose an area that is well-drained.  Most bulbs will rot or deteriorate quickly where soil is constantly damp. The majority of these bulbs will enjoy sunny locations as well and should receive at least 5-6 hours of sunlight daily. Have a shady area?...You can choose bulbs such as wood hyacinths, or frittillaria to grow in any shade garden.

Fritillaria meleagris- Checkered Lilies

Plant bulbs individually by digging a hole for each bulb with a trowel or bulb planter, or place several bulbs on the bottom surface of a larger hole, then cover with soil. As planting depths and spacing varies depending on the type of bulb, refer to the cultural information found in our Online growing guide

Whichever method you use, be sure to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and at this time work in a handful of organic fertilizer or other types such as Veseys Bulb Fertilizer. There is no benefit to fertilizing fall planted bulbs while they are in flower or after flowering. Excess nutrients at this time can in fact lead to fusarium bulb rot, which is the number one cause of bulb loss. Press each bulb firmly into the soil, top pointing up and fill in the hole.


     When in doubt as to which way is up on a bulb, plant it on its side as shown to the right and let 'Mother Nature' decide!

After planting, water the area well to settle the soil and to start the roots growing. If rainfall is sparse, you may need to water the bulbs once a week to help them become established.
For strongest visual impact, we suggest planting your bulbs closely in groups, drifts or clumps of a single kind and colour. With small bulbs like squill, snow crocus or grape hyacinths, it is essential to plant them in generous drifts if they are to be noticed. When planting bulbs, be sure to take colour into consideration. In general, groups of a single colour have the most impact.

 If you have left over bulbs and are wondering what you can do with them why not try a process called forcing. It's very easy to do and all you have to have is an area that won't allow the bulbs to freeze but kept very cool for at least 10-12 weeks. 

     Select a container with drainage holes and is at least twice as deep as the height of the bulbs. Shallow or heavy containers will not topple as readily as high containers. 
     Plant in well drained potting mix and be sure that there will be at least 2" for root growth.


      When bulbs are placed on this layer, their tops should be even with the rim of the pot. 
     You can use several in a pot for creating a stunning display. Cover with potting mix and water in to settle.

     As mentioned, store in a cool, dark and dry location for at least 10-12 weeks to allow for proper chill time. You can store in a cold room or unheated garage as examples, just be sure you check for moisture and any sign of sprouting.  Once the chill time has passed, you can bring them indoors gradually to warmer temperatures and within 3-4 weeks you should see a bloom.  For more information of forcing bulbs as well as other bulb topics, please check our website. It is an excellent resource full of many different gardening topics.

Once the spring arrives, you will be welcomed by many beautiful flowers that make a stunning display and will last for many years to come.  You will be so glad you took the time to either begin planting these bulbs in your garden or adding even more color to your existing bulb garden.

Please feel free to stop by and have a look at our display every spring or view our pictures on our Veseys facebook page.

Happy Fall Planting!  

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