Fall Bulb Planting Tips

Oct 1, 2023

Let’s Get Planting!

A little bit of work in the Fall can add a lot of color to your Spring!!! Here’s six quick tips to get you and your Fall bulbs ready for success…

  • In our area, the optimal bulb planting time is usually late-Summer until the end of October. With this year’s high 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.


  • If you’re using fertilizer or bone meal directly in the planting hole, make sure to mix it in well and cover with more soil before putting the bulb in. Fertilizers can burn roots if in direct contact.


  • If you are in an area with deer, daffodils are the best deer-resistant bulb. While it seems deer will eat almost anything,  daffodils are bitter and the least likely to be eaten. You can also interplant alliums and daffodils with other bulbs to keep critters away.