I was in a home improvement store the other day and was thinking Wow the Christmas decorations should be going up in a week or so. I know that sounds a little bit crazy as it is only the 2nd week of September but I could not help to wonder as I was looking at all the Halloween Merchandise on Display. Seems like the stores are getting earlier and earlier when it comes to merchandising for the next big holiday. That is what led me to write this article.
The months of March Through May are usually the most colorful times of the year in the garden. The Spring flowering bulbs are a blaze with a riot of color. Early perennials are blooming and the early Spring flowering shrubs are wearing their coats of many colors. The only problem is that there are a lot of people that don’t realize that the tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, Allium, and all the other spring flowering bulbs need to be planted just before Halloween to get that great spring color show. You would not believe the amount of times I get asked where you can get some of them flowers to plant every spring.
Just as impressive are the spring flowering shrubs azaleas and rhododendrons are well known as is one of the earliest to bloom with an explosion of bright yellow the forsythia. Vanhoutte spirea commonly called bridal veil puts on a spectacular show of pure white that looks like a giant snowball. The absolute most popular though has to be the lilac. It comes and a variety of colors and give off magnificent scents. Now is the time to be planting your shrubs in early fall where the cool wet weather will help them to get established roots before winter.
To plant your shrubs dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball then mix in a couple of shovel fulls of compost to the soil. Set the plant in the ground with the top of the root ball even with the soil line. Back-fill with the soil tamping to eliminate air pockets and water well. Be sure the plant stays moist till the ground freezes.
To prepare your flower beds for spring bulbs work up the soil and mix in a couple of inches of compost. Dig it in at least 6 “. Once the bed is prepared you are ready to plant your bulbs. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the width of the bulb by 2 to get the right depth to plant the bulbs at. Remember to consider height of the plant when planting don’t hide the crocus behind the daffodils or you won’t be able to enjoy them. Another hint is to plant bulbs in cluster they look more natural and are more interesting that way.
So now is the time to get started on your spring flowering garden.