A Little Sweat This Fall Reaps Big Rewards In The SpringBulbs are always one of the highlights of spring. Seeing daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths and alliums bloom always brings a smile to one’s face and renews us after a dreary gray winter. Of course, to enjoy these blooms, one must put in a little sweat equity in the fall. Here are a few guidelines to follow: Planting the bulbs in the fall gives them time to establish a strong root system and ensures a good show next. Bulbs should be firm and not mushy or rotten—small amounts of surface mold should be okay. If only a small part of the bulb seems to be mushy, try slicing off that part with a knife and stick it in the ground anyway. It’s better to give it a fighting chance than to just assume it’s dead and throw it away. Bulbs that have already sprouted will be vulnerable during the winter, so make sure your bulbs have as little new growth as possible. Larger bulbs, like tulips, produce bigger plants and tend to come up later in the season than plants from smaller bulbs. Plants with smaller bulbs, like crocus, come up much earlier. Most bulbs have traces of roots coming out of one end, which clues you in about how to set them in the planting hole! Always place with roots downward, at a depth of about 4 times the size of the bulb. Too deep is better than too shallow in warm climates; the reverse is true in colder areas.
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