By Larry Hodgson
Spring has just barely sprung and I’m already writing about planting fall bulbs: tulips, narcissus, crocuses, squills, grape hyacinths, etc.? Isn’t it a bit early?
Not really, because as beautiful as they are when they are in bloom, they are absolutely invisible when they go dormant. And they’re dormant most of the year.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The problem therefore is that, when it’s time to plant more bulbs (September to November in the Northern Hemisphere), you can’t see where the established ones are. I mean, you know they’re there, hiding out underground as bulbs or tubers, but will you remember precisely where? If you’re like me, you’ve often started to dig a planting hole for fresh bulbs only to discover you’ve just chopped through a bulb or two, because you’re digging in a spot where older ones were already established.
That’s why it’s wise to draw a bit of a sketch of your property, noting where the bulbs are while they’re still visible… and also where you have open spaces where you’ll want to plant more. I call the sketch a “bulb locator.”
Then, when fall comes and your bulb orders arrive (I don’t know about you, but I order my bulbs on-line so I can be sure I’ll get the ones I want), you can pull out your bulb locator and home in on the spots that desperately need more spring color!