Get the Biggest Bang for Your Bulb Buck

Bulb displays are all about creating impact – through color, numbers and siting. Here are some ways to give your spring garden punch with some bulb-planting best practices.

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Bulbs in Bulk

When purchasing bulbs in bulk, check the quality to make sure the bulbs are firm and not moldy or squishy. Buy the largest bulbs available.

Full Sun

For tulips, hyacinths and crocuses, choose a site that gets full sun, though most daffodils can tolerate part shade.

Good Soil

Make sure soil is rich in organic matter and well drained because bulbs are highly susceptible to rot.

Make Them Pop

Give bulbs a dark green backdrop, such as an evergreen hedge, for making their colors pop.

Plant in Masses

Plant bulbs en masse, not in small clusters, to create the biggest impact.

Sweeps of Color

Plant in sweeping drifts of color, not in uniform rows, for a bigger visual punch.

New Heights

Consider hillsides for taking advantage of varying heights of flowers, making a planting bed seemingly loom larger.

Color Block

For the boldest effect, plant in masses of one color  -- and one that complements adjacent plantings of spring annuals or blooming shrubs and trees.

Planting Bulbs

Save time – and your back – by placing bulbs, tip end up, on top of the planting bed, then cover them with a layer of several inches of soil, instead of digging individual holes for bulbs. Don’t worry if the bulbs tip over; they will work themselves upright.

Extend Growth

Extend the bulb bloom season by combining varieties that bloom early, mid- and late spring.

Contrasting Colors

Under plant beds of annuals, such as pansies or violas, with bulbs, to create a complementary-color foil and extend the bloom season.

Mix Flowers

Combine container gardens of fall and winter annuals with bulbs for surprise additions next spring.

Avoid Mulch

Don’t mulch over bulb plantings because that layer of insulation withholds extra moisture in the soil and could cause bulbs to rot.

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