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Posted on October 6th, 2014 at 11:13 AM by Newark Ohio Garden Club

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Rosie Lerner, extension consumer horticulture specialist at Purdue University, shares tips for bulb planting.

Plant spring bulbs in the fall before the ground freezes—ideally, when soil temps are between 40 and 50 degrees. “This gives them a chance to get roots established before going into winter,” Rosie says.

Find a sunny spot. Generally, bulbs do best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Plant bulbs in groups for a loose, natural-looking display. “I like to plant lots of a particular variety for a massing effect,” Rosie says. Place five or six bulbs in each hole, making sure the hole’s depth is two to three times the bulb’s height. The pointy end should face up.

Protect bulbs from critters with a layer of gravel or mulch or a sheet of wire mesh over holes. You can remove the wire mesh when bulbs begin sprouting.

Plant with other perennials, such as hydrangeas, peonies or daylilies, that will help hide the bulbs’ foliage after blooms fade.  “For them to make a good comeback, they need their foliage to live as long as possible,” Rosie says. Don’t cut back foliage until it’s yellowed.