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Tips for Planting Bulbs

How to choose the best bulbs and give them a good start.

Bulbs provide delayed gratification for gardeners who cultivate them. There are bulbs for any season, and they come in virtually every color of the rainbow. Remember these essential tips when planting bulbs in your garden:

Although bulbs come in a variety of sizes, buy ones that look as big as possible for that type of bulb. The bigger they are, the larger the flowers they'll produce. Before planting, inspect bulbs carefully, making sure that they look clean and are free of mold. They should be firm with no soft spots.

To plant bulbs, start with well-draining, loosened soil (especially important if you're planting daffodils). Bulbs are susceptible to rot when planted in poorly drained sites.

After the planting site has been prepared, lay out the bulbs in the desired planting pattern and plant them in the ground six to eight inches deep, generally about the depth of the blade of a planting knife or trowel. Make sure to plant spring-flowering bulbs that deep so they're protected from a winter freeze. Also as the bulbs grow, their roots will grow deeply into the soil so that they stand strong and tall, and the wind and rain won't blow them over. Plant the bulb with the pointed tip facing up.

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