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Spring-blooming bulbs seem like such a miracle. Pop the little bulbs into the soil in fall and like magic, richly colored flowers emerge in early spring, often before the snow has even melted from the ground.
Of course, as with all gardening, you'll have better success if you follow a few time-honored tips and take the time to prepare the soil.
Where you plant bulbs is everything. Spring- blooming bulbs demand excellent drainage, for example. Ideal places include slopes, berms, raised beds, and any other spot where water can drain freely. Also, don't make the common mistake of planting spring-blooming bulbs closer than 4 feet from a house. The home's warmth will cause them to grow prematurely, harming their ability to bloom well and stay healthy year after year.
It takes about a half hour to plant 100 spring-blooming bulbs in common holes in a prepared bed.
Plant spring-blooming bulbs in fall, as soon as possible after receiving them so they don't dry out. You can plant them any time until the soil freezes. Since bulbs need good drainage, prepare the soil well. Dig to a depth of at least 18 inches, working in compost or sphagnum peat moss to improve soil texture.
Add to the planting hole a fertilizer made specifically for bulbs. Although bone meal has been a popular bulb fertilizer, it is not a complete fertilizer for bulbs.
Position the bulbs, pointed end up, to the depth specified. As a rule, plant tulips and hyacinths 6 to 8 inches deep; daffodils 6 to 9 inches deep; and crocuses, glory-of-the-snow, snowflakes, grape hyacinths, snowdrops, and squill 3 to 5 inches deep. (Those depths refer to the bottom of the bulb, that is, the BASE of the bulb should be planted at that depth.)
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