Whether it be Tulips, Hyacinths, Crocus or the mighty Daffodil – planting bulbs in the Fall almost always guarantees a beautiful Spring in your garden. Planting bulbs before the ground freezes allows your bulbs to establish roots before winter!
Look for an area with well-draining soil and a good amount of sunlight. Depending on the bulb you bring home, the instructions for planting may vary but a good rule of thumb is to plant them at a depth of around 2-3 times the size of the bulb. The bigger the bulb the deeper it goes. Always place the bulb with the pointed end up and water thoroughly after covering with soil. Give yourself 2-6 inches in between each bulb – depending on the look and the size of the plant once it has grown. It’s a good idea to enrich the soil you plant them in, with some compost or a slow release of 10-10-10 fertilizer. Mulching is not always necessary, but it does help maintain soil temperature and the moisture levels in the ground.
Plan your garden layout before you start planting. Think about color combinations and mixing up varying heights to create a unique look. For example, you could put alliums and tall tulips in the back of your garden, daffodils and hyacinth in the middle ground and small crocus and mini-daffodils at the front. This gives the illusion of a much fuller space and gives the eye many levels to delight in.
When springtime comes around and the plants begin to emerge you can always give them a bit of food again, to encourage good health of the plant as it grows. Deadhead the spent blooms to encourage more flowers.
Overtime, bulbs can become overcrowded, which may result in small blooms. You can dig them and separate them and then replant them with more space in between them to allow for better growth.
For most spring-blooming bulbs on Nantucket,
you can leave them in the ground to rise again each year. One of our favorite things about spring bulbs is that deer are not a big fan of most of them, allowing for a safer, deer-free garden! Tulips contain alkaloids that repel deer from consuming them. Daffodils and hyacinths are toxic to deer; the strong scent of hyacinths, while pleasant to us, steers them even further away from feeding on them. It’s still a good idea to take precautions or keep an eye out because the deer on Nantucket are notorious for breaking rules.
With the benefit of hosting the stunning Annual Daffodil Show, we get to see all the beautiful sizes, shapes and colors that daffodils come in! It’s no secret that daffodils are an island-favorite, for good reason. Some of our favorites that we saw at the show, and we now sell for planting:
Misty Glen – Large Cupped flower that gets 14-16inches high. A classic shaped daffodil with an intriguing twist – the petals are a stark ivory color and inside the corona (the trumpet like nose of the daffodil) a vibrant electric green.
Minnow – One of the smallest of all daffodils – it has white petals and pale yellow trumpets – with multiple flowers per stem. Only getting 6-8 inches tall.
Dutch Master – the gold standard for your classic yellow daffodil, 14-16 inches tall and brings instant cheer.
We also sell a 12-inch Daffodil Blend called Blends of Beauty – peaches, whites, yellows and vibrant orange colors in one bag.
Daffodils and other spring blooming bulbs can still be planted in spring,
but only if there are several weeks of cold weather remaining. Plant only 2-3 inches deep because they don’t have as long to reach the surface. They are also easy to force in areas with frozen soil. Just plant them in a pot, keep that pot in a cold but unfrozen room for a few weeks for root growth. Then bring them into a warm sunny window so they can grow and bloom.
– Breeze Kidder, Garden Center Assistant Manager