After winter we are all ready for the wonders of spring. One of the cheeriest sights are the bright yellow faces of the daffodils. However, late summer and early fall is the time we need to be planting and nurturing our jonquils to make sure they are bright and healthy later.
Planting a bulb garden is a family project. You may either visit your local garden center in early fall or start looking at mail order bulb sources now. Decide how many you have room for and let everyone in the family pick their own! Here are the essentials you need to know as far as how much space they will take up:
Creating your plan
The key to all this, is picturing in your mind the flower bed in the spring when the only thing popping out are the bulbs you have planted. You can make groupings in circles or squares. Think of it like a puzzle. Make your plan and sketch it out on paper. If you have older children, this would be the perfect job for them! Give them a measuring tape, pencil, little wooden markers and paper. They can plan the location of the bulbs, sketch it out and then mark it. This will make them feel creative and satisfied when the plan is finished! A few things to remember as you are planning:
Planting your bulbs
When your bulbs arrive, or you buy them from the garden center, gather everyone together, hand out garden tools and start digging. Make sure the soil is loose and humus-rich. If the soil seems dry or a little hard, then add peat and/or manure you can purchase at the garden center.
Mix it in the soil until it’s loose and rich looking. Read the instructions on each bulb and plant at that depth. Dig your hole, place in your bulb and fill the hole back up with the soil.
After your bed is planted, water well and place about a two inch layer of mulch over the area. Mulch can be leaves that have been sitting and are moist and starting to decompose, wood chips or shredded wood, even grass clippings can be used! If you have a dry fall, it would help the flower bed if you would water now and then when it hasn’t rained.
There are many other bulbs you can plant to brighten your spring, but daffodils are simple, they multiply, and the squirrels and other rodents don’t seem to like the taste very well. In most cases, they should leave your bulbs alone, and in the spring you will have a flower bed full of welcoming sunny faces to greet you.