Fall is when the trees, flowers and the spring and summer’s colourful beauty start to shrivel and turn brown. But there’s still work to be done in the garden if you’re hoping for a bright, beauty-filled spring garden.
The cooling weather of September and October is the perfect time to plant fall bulbs so you get a gorgeous spring showing right out the gate. There are plenty of fall-planted bulbs to choose for your garden, but some that tend to work well in Canadian weather include:
How to plant fall bulbs
Planting fall bulbs isn’t challenging, but you need to get the spacing, depth, fertilizing, mulching, and watering routine down right. The particulars of these are going to vary based on the specific bulbs you’re choosing to plant, but here are a few general rules of thumb:
- Plant them a depth equal to three times the bulb’s width
- Don’t over-fertilize them — once late fall or early spring should do
- Label your plantings so you remember what you’ve planted
If you’re looking for maximum spring curb appeal, you’re also going to want to pay attention to how you lay out your plant bulbs. You want to plan them in clusters, not as single bulbs. And avoid laying them out in a long, thin line. Planting in clusters will give you concentrated colours which can have a pleasant aesthetic impact. This is especially the case if you don’t have enough bulbs to fill up a large bed or planter.
Where to plant fall bulbs
Selecting where to plant your fall bulbs is key if you want that maximum spring flower showing. You want to pick somewhere that will display the flowers well, but also has adequate light, rich soil, and drains well.
One of the leading causes of bulbs not coming up is soil that’s too damp. Soil that doesn’t drain well can rot the bulbs. So tilling and turning the soil before you plant is key to true spring-flowering bulbs. Especially when you consider that heavy snowfall will add pressure over the winter months.
Likewise, getting the light right is imperative. You need to give your buds adequate light based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Note that plants that need “full sun” need to be set in places where they get at least six hours of sunlight a day.
When to plant fall bulbs
You want to plant your bulbs sometime in the fall, but there are times that are better than others. Your best bet is to try and get them in the ground roughly five or six weeks before it freezes solid — which, considering Canadian weather patterns, can be a bit of a challenge. So, a bit of educated guess work is in order.
You don’t want to plant too early as these bulbs are best grown as the temperature starts to cool off (think 15°C or lower). Aiming to be done by mid-October tends to be a safe bet (depending where you are in Canada) because this gives the bulbs enough time to root in. However, so long as the ground hasn’t frozen, it’s not too late.
You will soon need to get your home ready for the winter, so give yourself plenty of time before you need to get to other home maintenance tasks.
Preparing for spring
Winter can be a bit of a white wonderland around these parts. But if you get your bulbs in the ground before the cold air truly sets in, you’ll have something bright and colourful to look forward to when the warm spring air starts to show its face. This can motivate your entire family to grow a beautiful garden next summer.
Not only do flowers help add a pop of colour to your home, but they attract pollinators like bees and butterflies which make up an essential part of our ecosystem (we really can’t live without them). Which makes it yet another small step you can take on the path to a greener life.
Get more seasonal home maintenance tips and tricks delivered right to your phone with the GarbageDay app — planting flowers is just the beginning!