Plant a Bed of Spring Bulbs

Harbingers of spring, bulbs transform sleeping gardens into oceans of color as the seasons turn.

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Planting Snowdrops

Snowdrops have tiny bulbs that dehydrate quickly and often fail to flower if planted in fall. Instead, buy pot-grown bulbs in leaf in the spring and plant them so that the pale bases of the stems are just below the soil surface. If you already have large clumps of snowdrops, lift and divide them in spring, after flowering.

Early Spring Bloom of SnowdropsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant Depth

For bulbs to succeed, you need to plant them at the right depth, usually two to four times the height of the bulb. Plant too shallowly, and they may not flower; too deep, and they might not grow at all.

Tulips prefer to be planted deeply, four times their own depth; a 2" bulb is planted 8 inches deep (image 1). Daffodils are planted three times their own depth; a 2" bulb is planted 6 inches deep (image 2). Plant grape hyacinths at three times their depth; a 3/4" bulb is planted at a depth of 2-1/2 inches (image 3). Alliums are also planted at three times their depth; a 1-1/4" bulb should be planted 3-1/2 inches deep (image 4).

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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