Summer Bulb Guide

Peony from the 2011 garden

It’s mid March and the bulbs I planted in the fall are getting bigger everyday and starting to bloom. As we officially make our way into Spring it’s a good time to start thinking about summer bulbs. Pretty flowers like dahlias, freesia, gladioli and hollyhock all bloom in the summer and start from bulbs.

You may have noticed a lot of these bulbs for sale at the garden center recently. I have been stocking up for a few weeks now. I want to plant as many flowers as possible and I can justify spending the money if I buy a few new bulbs every week.

We have some giant tractor tires laying around the farm that I am going to line up along our hedge and fill with dirt and plant the bulbs in. It will probably look a little odd until the flowers bloom but I think it will look really pretty come July once they start flowering.

When you plant the bulbs really depends on what climate you live in and they type or plant. In general you want to wait until mid Spring and when the overnight temperatures are over 50 degrees.

To get more bang for your buck you may want to focus on perennial  bulbs rather than annual bulbs. Perennials will regrow every year and annuals only grow once and have to be replaced every year. For example day lilies and irises will regrow every year. Dahlia bulbs can be dug up at  the end of the season and stored over winter. You can replant them  the following spring but they will not survive the winter in the freezing ground. Freesia is a annual and will only bloom one season.

When planting the bulbs make sure to put the tallest ones in the back of the garden and the shorter ones in front. Also consider planting a few bulbs every few weeks rather than all at once so that you will have pretty flowers blooming all summer long!

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