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Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms

To make the best selection while shopping for fall bulbs, here are a few tips to help you out. If you feel unsure, don't hesitate to ask for assistance. Bachman's sales consultants will be glad to show you what is a good bulb and which bulbs to avoid.

The bigger the better! This is one case where it pays to buy the largest, best quality bulbs you can afford. This can be confusing since tulips are graded by overall size, but a top-size of one variety may not be as large as the top-size of another. When choosing daffodils, they are graded according to size and weight. Some varieties have several segments to the daffodil bulb, referred to as double-nose or triple-nose. To make things easier, Bachman's buys number one bulbs that have been graded as top-size available in that variety for the season. Smaller bulbs are often available as an affordable alternative or for naturalizing.

Quality bulbs should be relatively heavy for their size. Avoid bulbs that are lightweight or soft, as they may not develop properly. When dealing with thousands of bulbs, occasionally a bulb of lesser quality will sneak by. Don't hesitate to set it aside if you find one.

Avoid bulbs with deep cuts. It is almost impossible to harvest bulbs without a few nicks and that doesn't affect the quality, but deep cuts can be a site for decay. Loose skins are not a problem either.

Avoid bulbs that show signs of mold or rot, especially if it is at the basal end of the bulb. A blue, powdery fungus is a sign that the bulbs have gotten wet at some time.

Be as gentle as possible with your bulbs to avoid bruising.

Store bulbs somewhere cool and dry until the appropriate time for planting, opening the bags or boxes to increase air circulation.

Fall Bulb Planting Schedule

The best time to plant fall bulbs in our area depends on the type of bulb. Below is a listing of varieties and the target dates that will insure your bulbs have the best chance.
  • If you are planting bulbs in Zone 3, plant them a week earlier.
  • If you are planting bulbs later than the target dates, plant them an inch or two deeper than normal and be sure to water them right away.
  • If you are planting them extremely late, plant them an inch or two deeper than they are normally planted, water them in right away and mulch with at least 6 inches of hay, straw or shredded leaves.

Early September
Fall Blooming Crocus
Madonna Lilies

Mid September thru Mid October
Daffodils
Large Flowered Hyacinths
Camassia

October
Tulips
Crocus
Muscari
Alliums
Fritillaria
Snowdrops
Chionodoxa
Eranthis
Iris: Dutch, Reticulata, and Danfordiae
Leucojum
Squill and Scilla

September thru February
Paperwhite Narcissus

October thru February
Amaryllis

© Bachman's 2007

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