Planting Fall Bulbs – 6 Fast Tips

Sep 30, 2021

6 Fast Tips


  • In our area, the optimal bulb planting time is usually late summer until the end of October. With this year’s higher temperatures, we suggest waiting until mid-September to get started. Keep bulbs in a cool, dry place before planting. You can plant right up until the ground freezes.


  • Loosen the soil. The soil should be loose and airy to a depth of 12”. If you aren’t planting in an established garden bed, the soil can be amended with compost and/or peat moss so roots don’t come up against a wall of compacted soil. Don’t plant bulbs in damp or wet soil as they will rot (with the exception of Camassia).


  • Plant the bulb pointy side up or roots down if showing. We aren’t suggesting that you purposely plant your bulbs upside down, but for the most part, the plant will find its way to the surface, so if you’re completely stumped on which end is up for a particular bulb, plant it anyway.


  • Mulch counts toward your planting depth. If you plan on 3” of mulch, then a bulb you would normally plant at 8” would be planted at 5”. The measurement is taken from the bottom of the bulb to the surface. General rule: 8″ deep for big bulbs. 5″ deep for small bulbs.


  • When putting fertilizer or bone meal directly in the planting hole, mix it in well and cover with more soil before putting the bulb in. Fertilizers can burn roots if in direct contact.


  • Daffodils are the best deer-resistant bulb. If there is an abundance of deer in your area they can be driven to eat almost anything, however, daffodils are bitter and the least likely to be eaten. Interplant alliums and daffodils with other bulbs to keep critters away.