Summer Bulbs – Jump Start Your Bulbs

Mar 3, 2014

Jump Start Your Summer Blooms!

Dahlias, cannas, begonias, elephant ears and all summer blooming bulb plants offer big, bright blasts of color and great drama. Why wait even one day longer than you have to for that summer shot of beauty?

Plant those new and old bulbs up in any clean containers with drainage. I find window boxes are great because I want them for annual flowers right about the same time my bulbs can go in the ground.

Plant bulbs up 4 to 6 weeks before our usual date for last frost. Our safe date in the Capital Region is May 10th. Easy to remember because Mother’s Day signals last frost! Of course, we know weather can vary and this date isn’t written in stone, but it works for the planning stages of gardening. begoniaplantmorgue

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 are 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 tender bulbs.