Make Winter Seem Shorter – Naturalize Bulbs Now for Early Spring Blooms

Make Winter Seem Shorter – Naturalize Bulbs Now for Early Spring Blooms

Many of us who hold a passion for gardening wish winter were much shorter. Seasonal changes are inspiring, but late winter and early spring are times of longing for greenery and blooms that take too long to come. Naturalizing bulbs on the lawn or in a woodland that borders your home is a great way to shorten the barren season, bring springtime within sight at an earlier date. Never tried naturalizing? Here’s a short guide to get you started.

Which types of bulbs are best for naturalizing?

  • Daffodils are classics. They can’t be beat for hardiness, rodent resistance, longevity and sheer beauty.
  • Crocus are great too. They pop their pretty little pastel heads above ground before any others, except a few -.
  • Like quaint snowdrops or winter aconite 
  • Grape hyacinths can live for years, nestled in lawn grass

If you wish to consider other varieties, it’s best to check a reliable Website or consult a gardening friend or specialty store to see if they can survive in competition with lawn grasses.

How to get bulbs below ground without cultivating

From power tools to simple dibbles, special instruments are created just for this purpose. Don’t wish to invest? A trowel, simple shovel or perhaps a post hole digger can serve the purpose, though the holes won’t be aesthetically shaped. The most important thing to remember is to consult the information that came with the type of bulbs you purchased, making sure to plant at the correct depth. 

Arrangements approved by Mother Nature

Many bulbs, especially daffodils, look best when planted in clumps of odd numbers of bulbs. Tiny ones, like crocus, are traditionally scattered upon the lawn, each one planted where it fell. Unless some landed closer together than the recommended spacing; they look more natural this way.

Daffodils could actually be planted in this manner also. The bulbs will divide and multiply over the years if they like their site, and receive supplemental fertilizer each year.

Good nutrition is vital for breathtaking blooms

The old standard bulb food was bone meal. But modern studies show it doesn’t provide enough of some nutrients, in the best balance. A good quality brand of bulb food will assure your labors will be worth the effort. You’ll be thankful you spent a bit more to buy the best brand when you gaze upon the palette of color emerging on your lawn in spring. 

Some recommend placing a bit of fertilizer in the bottom of the hole, adding a small amount of soil on top before inserting the bulb. Others say topdressing is best. Both methods can be combined, as long as too much fertilizer isn’t applied.

Future maintenance

Topdressing, tossing fertilizer on the ground around the bulbs each year, following bloom, is recommended for keeping blooms bright over the long term. Avoid mowing over the foliage if possible, until it has matured. Aside from those suggestions, and potential nibbling by hungry rodents if you planted varieties other than daffodils in an area populated by mice and chipmunks, a little effort this fall will provide years of springtime cheer.  

Want more detailed instructions? Here’s a great step-by-step guide.

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