Daffodil, tulip, and other fall bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool, when evening temperatures average between 40° – 50° F. However, if you can dig and your ground is workable, you can still plant! You can, if necessary, store bulbs for a month or longer if you keep them in a cool, dry place before the weather conditions are right.
How To Plant Fall Bulbs
Choose where to plant: You can plant bulbs just about anywhere in your garden, as long as the soil drains well. Bulbs like sun, and in many areas, the spring garden can be very sunny since the leaves on the trees are not out yet. So some partly shady spots work well for bulbs.
Prepare the planting bed: Dig soil so it’s loose and workable to a depth of at least 8”. Remove any weeds, rocks, or other debris. You can mix in compost, other organic matter, or slow releasing fertilizer (Espoma BulbTone is excellent) if your soil lacks nutrients.
Planting: Depending on the bulb, follow the recommendation on the label for planting depth. Generally, plant big bulbs about 8″ deep and small bulbs about 5″ deep. Set the bulb in the hole pointy side up or the roots down. If you can’t figure out the top from the bottom, plant the bulb on its side, in most cases, even if you don’t get it right, the flower will still find its way topside.
Water: Back fill with soil over the hole, lightly compress the soil but do not pack it. Water once to stimulate root growth and to fill any air pockets. There is no need to water continuously.
Now, just sit back and wait for warm spring weather and beautiful spring blooms!