It’s Planting Time!
Now that autumnal weather is with us, we know that winter will follow all too soon.
Many people complain about Cleveland winters but I love them because I know that they will be followed by Spring, the season of beautiful flowering bulbs.
Almost everyone recognizes Crocus, daffodils, and tulips that bloom from March through May. However, there are many other wonderful bulbs that blooming even earlier or later.
The earliest bulbs are Eranthis (Winter Aconite) ,with delicate fan-shaped foliage and bright yellow flowers on one inch stems, and Galanthus (Snowdrops) that have small white bells on two inch stems . Both bloom in February or March. Plant these by the hundred so that they have an impact. I love to plant them under shrubs that won’t leaf out for a month or two or between ornamental grasses, the foliage of which has been cut down in order to see the blooms.
The Allium family is mostly known for the huge purple balls on four foot stems (Allium giganteum) but there are many other species that only grow eight to twelve inches in colors that vary from yellow to pink to blue. If you can use Allium species that grow eighteen to twenty-four inches high, you have a choice of white, maroon, or purple. The alliums bloom from May to July depending on the species.
Most bulbs should be planted in full sun in well-drained, loose soil at a depth twice the height of the bulb. Daffodils, however, will bloom quite well with a half day of sun as will Squill, Crocus, and Fritillaria. If you choose cultivars that are described as perennializers or naturalizers, they will multiply. Treat most tulips as annuals. In our heavy clay soil, they tend to rot after a year. Unfortunately, they are also deer fodder.
Early to mid October is the perfect time to plant so quickly make a trip to your nearest garden center or order online from a reputable bulb dealer such as Brent and Becky’s Bulbs