Best Spring Bulbs for the Northern Pacific Coast Region
Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers
With long cool, wet winters and springs, followed by dry summers and falls, your region is close to perfect for many spring-flowering bulbs. This climate is about as close to the English countryside as we have in the USA.
Optimum Planting Time: October 1st - December 1st
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8
- 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.
Begin to plant when the soil cools off but before the weather becomes too wet and uncomfortable, making planting a chore instead of a pleasure. Because your zone 8 looks to be warm on the USDA Hardiness Map, be sure to let mail-order companies know you need your bulbs delivered before the heavy rains come. Provide a specific delivery week. Otherwise, they may send your order too late.
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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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