Dr. Z: Fall Bulb Planting

Our warmer than normal temperatures and drought continues.  These conditions could have an impact on bulb planting this fall.  Here are some tips that could help get around some possible problems that could arise.
Bulbs, like all plants, need moisture to grow.  They do not do well in hot and dry soil. Remember one of the basic rules in planting bulbs is to water your bulb bed thoroughly. However, with water restrictions becoming stricter, what can be done?  If you are not planting a lot bulbs this little trick may help.  Dig the hole, amend the soil as needed, place the bulb in the hole, and fill it only half way with the amended soil.  Then with a watering can, fill the hole with water and wait for it to settle.  Then fill up the hole with the rest of the amended soil.
Another problem may be the best planting time.  Usually we suggest October as the best time to plant fall bulbs, but they can be planted up to when the ground freezes.  If you plant in early or mid October this year, there is a chance those bulbs will pop out of the ground by the end of December due to the warm weather.  So consider planting this year at the end of October or early November.  This should "buy" you some extra time and plant bulbs at their proper depth. Many people plant bulbs too shallow and thus they poke out of the ground sooner than they should.
Call or come visit Dr. Z to have the rest of your Fall gardening questions answered.

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