We are having an unusually beautiful fall in New England this year. Day after day of cloudless skies, perfect temperatures and lush, fresh breezes. It's hard to want to do anything but be outdoors every minute. In times of this much beautiful weather, I think about ways I can prolong this sense of nature at it's best. One of my favorite ways it to make an investment in a future of natural beauty by planting Spring Bulbs. I think of it as stashing away funds in the “Bank of Next Year's Gloriousness.” There's always a spectacular return on my investment! Planting spring bulbs now not only keeps you outdoors during this fine time, but guarantees you a pop of color and inspiration at that time of year when you may still be trying to shake the winter chill off your heart. Also, it's a great way to spend time with your kids. Let them join you in choosing the variety of bulbs to plant, so that your spring garden is a celebration of everyone's tastes.
There's an amazing array of choices in bulbs these days. A visit to a local garden center will dazzle you. Daffodils and tulips offer up cheerful, reliable charm but don't hesitate to branch out and try something new.
Here are some tips for making your bulb planting adventure a success:
Buy bulbs that are firm to the touch, with a light paper skin. If there is any softness when you hold the bulb, it might be rotten. After you buy your bulbs, try not to wait too long before you plant them. Get those beauties in the ground!
Dig your holes about 8 inches from the base of the bulb. That means, for example, if you have a one inch bulb, dig a nine inch hole. An interesting trick is to sprinkle a little kitty litter in the hole, which will deter rodents from eating your bulb.
Bulbs are perennials which means that theoretically they will return year after year. However, if you want to assure this, it's a good idea to use a little plant food around the bulb as you plant it. There are simple, affordable varieties of bulb food available are garden centers.
There are many ideas about how many inches to leave between your bulbs, but I think it's best to simply decide how you'd like the flowers to look when they bloom. Do you want a concentrated spray of color? Then plant a handful of them close together in a circle. Want them in a line? Then plant them about 6 inches apart. Want them to have a natural look to where they sprout? Hold a handful of bulbs and simply toss them onto the dirt. Wherever they land is where they get planted!
Water the bulbs only lightly after planting. Afterwards, it will probably not be necessary to ever water your bulbs unless there is an extensive period of dry weather.
Let the thought of these bulbs hum within you during the long months of winter. Sit back and know that you're guaranteed to have a vibrant spring, full of colors that you yourself made happen.
Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the Amazon Bestseller "MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/ The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done" and creator of LifeBloom Online Coaching