Jump Start Your Summer Blooms!
Summer blooming bulb plants like dahlias, cannas, begonias, and elephant ears offer big, bright blasts of color and great drama. If you’re like us, and just can’t wait, you can get a jump start on all that summer beauty by starting your summer bulbs indoors and transferring them outside when the weather is right!
It doesn’t have to be fancy, just plant those new (or old!) bulbs up in any clean containers with drainage. Even window boxes can be great because you’ll want them for annual flowers right about the same time your bulbs can go in the ground.
Remember to wait to plant indoors until 4 to 6 weeks before our usual date for last frost. Our safe date in the Capital Region is May 10th. So right around Mother’s Day should be our last frost! Of course, this can vary by exact location, and we all know weather is never written in stone, but it definitely works for the planning stages of gardening.
Need a refresher on planting bulbs in containers? It’s easy!
Fill containers with a light potting mix and add some peat moss to aid good drainage.
Follow package directions for putting bulbs in the soil. Different bulbs are planting at different depths, some even lay on top with a slight bit of soil on top of them.
Keep the soil moist, but don’t make it really wet. Warmth and humidity are what these bulbs like. Set your containers in a south facing window, where they’ll get as much light as possible. Once they start sprouting, turn the containers so plants don’t bend in one direction or another.
Once we’re past threat of frost, (keep watching the forecast) you can begin to move containers outdoors, but hold off on planting directly into the ground until our nighttime temperatures reach 60 degrees for a couple of weeks. This means the soil will be warm enough for summer’s tender bulbs.