Yours is an excellent area for most spring-flowering bulbs with moderately cold winters, ample moisture, and warm to hot summers.
Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - November 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7
- Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50°F. But, be sure to plant approximately six weeks before the ground freezes to allow sufficient time for rooting. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.
- After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb as this may burn the bulb's tender roots.
- Please note: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!
- After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw or chopped up leaves) 2 — 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.
Extend the bloom season by selecting a range of bulbs that flower throughout the early-spring, mid-spring and late-spring seasons. Remember that daffodils, leucojum, galanthus and other members of the Amaryllidaceae family are generally considered pest-resistant.