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Fall is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning your garden for the months ahead. Dozens of flowers must be planted in the fall to provide appropriate time for the roots to set before producing blooms the following spring.
We’ve talked with plant expert Craig Jenkins from Topiarius to put together a list of bulbs that you should consider planting before the first frost hits. Use the next couple of months to plot out exactly how you’d like your spring garden to look and make a plan to purchase the bulbs you need with plenty of time for planting.
Your local garden center will begin to stock fall ready bulbs specific for your region and can provide recommendations on how to best set up your yard for success.
Ordering online may save money and can help create a foolproof planting plan. Fall bulbs are shipped when they should be planted in your area regardless of what time of year you make the purchase. For the best chances of success plant the bulbs within one week of their arrival, or store them in a cool dark place for up to two weeks.
Fall Planting Recommendations
When most people envision spring flowers tulips are the first bulbs that come to mind. Best suited for a mass planting or large grouping you can combine various types and colors of tulips together for a stunning effect. Two varieties of tulips recommended by Topiarius are the ‘Daydream’ and the ‘Foxtrot’. Both types begin with a single bloom and as they age will change in color throughout the season. Pre-made mixes are a great option for those who are uncertain about what types of tulip varieties to plant.
Garden Tip: If squirrels are plentiful in your area, your spring bulbs may disappear before they bloom. Squirrels love to eat the sweet bulbs.
Crocus and Scilla
Ranging in color from blues and purples to delicate whites these small plants (3″-6″ tall) can accent areas throughout your yard. Scilla multiplies well and within a few years will blossom into beds rich with blooms without needing to purchase a mass quantity of bulbs. As a delicate plant it is best for crocus and scilla to live in an area of the yard where they will not be walked upon. Both blossoms are deer resistant and should continue to produce beautiful flowers no matter how close to nature you happen to reside.
The most popular variant of this bloom is the purple Globemaster flower that can grow up to 3 feet with huge round flowers. Allium is a stunning focal point at the beginning of the summer. The large ball shaped flowers are reminiscent of the Lorax and his Truffula Tree but are more closely related to onions than trees. With long stems and wide blossoms allium is a good compliment to flower beds with low ground cover and look beautiful as cut bouquets.
Also known as Narcissus, this traditional spring flower is most often seen in bright yellow but also comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Daffodils look best when planted in large groups of 10-20 bulbs. Over time, some types of daffodils will naturalize and grow into larger plantings on their own.
Winter Wolf’s Bane
This early blooming flower is a sure sign that spring is on its way and will often flower even when snow is still on the ground. Also known by the latin name of Eranthus cilicica this short plant is bright yellow in color and can grow up to 6 inches tall.
Crown Imperial Fritillaria
A less common garden flower, the beautiful fritillaria blossom comes in a wide variety of appearances. Crown Imperials can grow up to 3 feet tall and bloom with umbrella shaped flowers and are most often red or yellow in color.
As each bulb begins to flower in the spring take photos of the plantings to determine where you may need additional foliage next year. Some bulbs may not come up and you may wish to fill in the area with spring annuals.
Once your bulbs begin to bloom in the spring, proper care will help keep your garden looking beautiful all season and into the summer. After the bulbs have flowered, cut back the flower, but leave the green leaves until they are yellow. Leaving the leaves allows the bulbs to collect energy for the next year’s bloom. This is why often the first year of blooming will pale in comparison to what you will have over many years of planting.
Looking for other garden tips? Check out our recommendations on the best flowers for spring gardens.