Avoiding Mistakes with Bulbs

Brandon Brooks

One of my favorite things to plant are bulbs. I am not an expert in horticulture, but I feel like I know a lot about bulbs so I will share some of my knowledge with you here.

First, don’t plant too few of them. If you are planting daffs or tulips, even in a small area, I suggest a minimum of thirty bulbs. My personal preference would be to plant twice that number, but at least thirty.

Find bulbs that are quality. There is a big difference in the performance and size of the bulbs you get at big box stores and those you get from garden centers and mail order companies.

Don’t forget to get some of the smaller species of tulips like small allium, eranthis, miniature daffs, and erythronium. These tulips tend to be ignored by deer and other wildlife. I have some of these that are still growing after eight years.

Speaking of deer, don’t let them intimidate you. Like I stated before, there are varieties they tend to ignore. There are many strategies out there you can incorporate to keep them out of your plants, too. Just do a little research on what will work best in your area.

Don’t spend your money on specialty implements for planting bulbs. These are a waste of both time and money. All you need is a big shovel for your big groupings and a simple trowel for the small ones.

Treat your tulips that are hybrids just like you would annuals. I oftentimes will put them in pots and store them in my garage over the winter. They tend to do fine in that unheated space.

Be cautious when you use mixes that are prepackaged. You will end up with them coming up at different times.

There is no reason to use fertilizers that are “bulb feeding.” Just use basic compost.

By following these simple tips, you should be well on your way to growing some great flowers from bulbs.