Gardener’s tasks can sometimes be very tough ones! The newbie want to learn new techniques, but even the seasoned veterans will occasionally plant something erroneously in their garden. That’s the fun part about landscaping because it’s okay to make it up as you go!
Here are some of the Common Bulb Planting Mistakes that you should do your best to avoid!
- Planting the bulb upside down. Since bulbs are dormant, there are no identifying features such as flowers, roots, foliage, or stems that give you a sure sign which way to put it in the ground. If you guess that the pointy end must contain the roots, you will have committed a common bulb planting mistake! The overwhelming majority of bulbs should have the pointed end facing up (but ALWAYS read the directions on the package).
- Planting bulbs at the wrong time. Bulbs should ideally be planted within about 6 weeks of the time the ground freezes. This will give them the time they need to get rooted and established & allow you to actually get them into softer ground. However, if you plant too early you risk diseases and fungus, or being eaten by animals.
- Using poor quality bulbs. If you happen to miss bulb planting time one year and find them a year later, it may be too late. Bulbs have the potential to dry out, freeze, mold or rot while in storage. You can always give it a shot though! Your best chance would be to force them in an indoor environment where you can control the environment. For future reference, store bulbs in a box at 42-48 degrees in a dry, dark place.
- Planting bulbs in poor conditions. Generally speaking, bulbs enjoy sunny spots with fertile, well-drained soil. You want to avoid planting bulbs in waterlogged soil, poor nutrient soil, sandy/gritty soil, or in areas with not enough sun.
- Creating a buffet line for pests & critters. In this case, doing your research is important because knowledge is power. If your backyard has a lot of chipmunks and squirrels consider planting daffodils. Bulb cages, rodent repellants, wire mesh, and adding fresh mulch are also interesting options.
- Planting bulbs that can’t make it through winter. If you choose bulbs that can’t survive our cold St. Louis winters, you’ll miss the flower show. In addition, planting other things on top of them creates an obstruction that the small bulb can’t push through. Using road salt, weed killer, or other harmful substances can invade the bulb area can damage the bulbs.
Generally speaking, when you plant your bulb, dig a hole that is twice as deep as the bulb is long. ALWAYS read the label! Planting bulbs in the fall creates wonderful spring/summer displays for the next year! It’s an investment that takes time and energy, but is well worth it!
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