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Fall Bulbs

Debbie Roland, Master Gardener

It’s time! If you are planning to plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring, now is the time. The soil temperature should be 60 degrees or colder, and at least two weeks before the first frost.

Bulbs can be planted in containers or in the ground. If you want to plant in containers, here are the steps:

1. Be sure your container has a drainage hole in the bottom.

2. Fill your container with a good quality potting soil.

3. Place the tip of the bulb up (unless the instructions on the package say differently).

4. The depth should be two times the length of the bulb.

5. It’s tempting to plant too many in each container. Remember the roots need room to grow.

6. Water deeply to eliminate air pockets that may have formed. Water only occasionally during the winter.

If you are planting directly in the ground, follow these steps:

1. Gently loosen about 8” of soil and remove weeds or roots. Add a little compost or other organic material.

2. Follow the label recommendation for planting depth. Set the bulb in the hole with the pointed end up. It is usually easy to figure out, but if you can’t, plant it on its side. Most will find their way to the surface.

3. Now fill with soil and lightly tap the soil avoiding being “heavy handed”.

4. Water to stimulate root growth.

Since we live in an area that has little recipitation in the winter months, you may want to water only occasionally.

Additional tips you may find helpful:

1. Always select good quality bulbs.

2. Plant in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sun daily.

3. Keep the area weed free. You don’t want the weeds stealing the nutrients your bulbs need.

4. If you have squirrels or dogs who love to dig, you can cover the ground with chicken wire until the plants come up in the Spring.

5. Plant in odd numbered groups rather than rows.

6. Plant different types of bulbs together, whether in containers or in the ground, for added color.

7. When you are deciding which bulbs you want to plant, remember we are in Zone 7b.

If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.


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